After six or seven years after I started working in London, it was Hiroki who was chosen as the head chef of a Japanese restaurant that opened in London.
After working for a year under Kenji Okawara in Hokkaido, Hiroki moved to Rome, Italy where he worked and trained in Italian cuisine at the three-star Italian restaurant Da Vittorio in Bergamo, where he learned the characteristics of local production and regional cuisine.
He was then appointed as the head chef at a Japanese restaurant in London, which coincided with the time when Kenji was privately visiting UMU. The two reunited for the first time in about 15 years and talked extensively about their passion for Japanese cuisine.
Unfortunately, Hiroki had to leave London due to COVID-19 and various other circumstances, but on hindsight, I personally feel that Tokito’s current core members crossing paths back then was a fateful coincidence that led to our connection now.
Hiroki was the pitcher on the baseball team back in school. When I stand in the kitchen with him, I feel like he is the type of guy who always throws straight balls, and just when I am itching for him to throw something more creative, he suddenly throws a miracle ball! His straight gaze and steady confidence make him a reliable player on our team.