What is your pet hate in the kitchen?
I have really bad OCD (my mates actually say I am "CDO" - OCD in alphabetical order), so anything that's not straight or lined up in the kitchen really gets to me.
Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence...
European, with a Japanese accent.
What is your biggest regret?
I'm too young to have any regrets. Ok, no, I do have one; but I'm too embarrassed to say it. Let your imagination run wild...
Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
A small rational / combi oven.
What's the dish you wish you had thought of?
Has to be sushi.
MasterChef or Great British Menu?
Most overrated food?
Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
My family. We always have the most fun when we all manage to get together.
What's your earliest food memory?
My earliest food memories are filled with total curiosity. I used to travel all over Japan with Funatsu (a successful Japanese restaurateur) trying different foods - ramen, sushi, champon, katsu, yaki niku; basically everything. We would go to six or seven different places a day, sometimes driving for more than five hours to check out new places.
What's your tipple of choice?
What's your favourite food and drink pairing?
The most amazing food and drink pairings I've had have been at Sushiya in Tokyo, where you can eat perfect sushi paired with the best sake. I just shake my head in amazement with every bite. I've been to a few Michelin starred sushi-yas (sushi shops) in Japan and they are just mind blowing; I love how they make the most complex dishes seem so simple.
What is the worst meal you've cooked at home?
It's been over 10 years since I cooked at home, so I have no idea really. I think I contribute to half of Deliveroo's revenue.
Where will your first meal out be post-lockdown?
Really looking forward to going back to Trinity in Clapham.
How are you keeping busy?
At the beginning of lockdown I got involved in a collaboration with Lucky Pilgrim called "Mission Lockdown". It's essentially a way of supporting chefs during lockdown; you can purchase recipe books from your favourite restaurants and all proceeds go towards keeping them in business. It's a fun way of supporting your favourite places without having to order a takeaway every evening. You can check it out here.
I have also been really busy with Yatai, my katsu sando concept I launched at Market Halls West End last year. Since Market Halls closed, we opened a Yatai dark kitchen in Battersea and it's going really well so far. I have something else in the pipeline too, which I can hopefully share with you soon.
Houseparty or Zoom?
Zoom! It's been great for work.
What boxset are you watching?
The Last Kingdom is seriously power.
What's the one ingredient you always have in your kitchen at home?
I never ever cook at home. I'm out 16-20 hours a day and the thought of cooking again when I get back is not my vibe.
What ingredient would you stockpile?
Just tons of fruit.