Asia’s Best Pastry Chef Award 2020 winner Natsuko Shoji’s inspiration comes from a combination of fashion and gastronomy from her childhood.
Natsuko Shoji, winner of Asia’s Best Pastry Chef Award 2020 and the Été’s owner, a table with six chairs in central Tokyo, where she offers her unique French-inspired dishes of only three or four ingredients. With the pastry lab he opened right next to Été, she offers her cakes, impressed by the fashion and presents, to her customers. Shoji, who has had an interest in pastry since he was little, told 50 Best Restaurants how exciting it was to watch her first cake rise in the oven. After graduating from high school, she began working at Florilège, which ranked seventh on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020 list. The successful chef Shoji noted that Florilège’s chef Hiroyasu Kawate had enormous influence over the phrase “guests deserve the most perfect experience, every single time.” The celebrity chef, who said his mother was very worried about bank loans when she opened Été, said: “I had to work hard to support my family and my younger sister, who suffers from health problems. My father passed away when I was 21. I needed to be strong and successful,” and explained her journey to success which was full of difficulties. Shoji said, “There are not enough female chefs in Japan. I want everyone to have equal chances,” and “There is no need to open a big restaurant with big money. Your success is not measured by how big and famous you are, but by the happiness of your customers and the smiles on their faces” she said the young female chefs.
Since opening the restaurant and cake business 5 years ago, many people from around the world come to eat Shoji’s $ 2,000 worth cakes and meals, which have been quite a success. “I work only with the best products to make sure I can achieve the best results,” said the celebrity chef, who always picks her products by hand to maintain his standards. Shoji uses 2 different peaches in its peach cake inspired by Chanel’s Matelassé bags while Damier cake has a Louis Vuitton Damier pattern with Akahoppe red and Awayuki white strawberries. However, the chef’s signature and favourite cake, mango cake with rose-shaped mangoes, and the presentation of the cake are the finest examples of Shoji’s elegant style.