3. Aspiring chef

I was 20 years old when I first thought about becoming a chef. My father died just when I entered university. I was an architecture major. I must say, I didn't think too hard in choosing my major. My father used to work in architecture and there was an architecture department at my university.

Because my father died, I needed to work. I took a part time job at a restaurant. It was a small family-style restaurant located in a department store. I did everything from dish washing to hall service. Because I didn't have enough income, I also worked at an izakaya-style restaurant in the evenings.

The head chef had been watching me work and one day he asked me, “Would you like to work in the kitchen?” I took that duty seriously and started to enjoy it. Then the same head chef recommended me to take an exam to become a cook. I studied for it and achieved it. That head chef was pleased to hear my news. I still feel very grateful to him for guiding me at a turning point in my life.

3. 料理人を志す


父が亡くなって働かないといけないということで、手っ取り早く飲食店でアルバイトを始めました。最初の頃はデパートの上にあるようなファミリーレストランで皿洗いや、ホールサービスもやりました。 それだけでは足りないということで、夜は居酒屋さんの仕事を始めました。最初は皿洗いですよね。

たまたまそこのお店の料理長に目を付けてもらって「一回ちょっとキッチンで働く? 」ということになったんですよ。アルバイトですけど、僕もある程度真剣にやる方なので、おもしろくなってきたんですよね。そして、その料理長さんが調理師免許を受けてみることを薦めてくれて、「それもおもしろいかなあ」と思ったので、勉強したら取れたんですよね。その料理長はその1年後に亡くなってしまったのですが、とても喜んでくれました。人生の転機をいただいたことを、今でもとても感謝しています。