********** Yoshinori Ishii Executive chef of Japanese restaurant UMU in London ******************

------------------ 英国の日本料理店 UMU 総料理長 石井義典 のつれづれなる話 ------------

Friday, 27 November 2015

Overdue update I kept forgetting….すっかりアップするのを忘れていた大切なお知らせ

Somehow sharing the news had completely slipped my mind, and now seems a little too overdue, nonetheless, Umu was awarded with 2nd star for Michelin Guide 2016.

No precedent existed for Japanese cuisine to attain 2-star status in Europe, where the judging criteria diverges from those in America and Japan. Achieving this prestige speaks of binary significances, ones I always bore in mind as targerts; a blast of an innovative wind through conservative European tradition and progression in peoples understanding towards Japanese cuisine and its concomitant culture in diverse environment. One day, one guest at a time, we worked hard believing, by always attending with sincerity, this moment would surely arrive. Yet a height of the hurdle exceeded expectation, and before I realised, 5 years have passed since I set my foot in London.
Re-educating staff, re-developing the route of food supply, enriching selection of appliance, and reviewing the state of our day-to-day service; tasks heaped during this course of time. Step by step, we marched our way forward, with the support from uncountable number of people. The first faces I pictured upon receiving the news were of fishermen who go out to the sea each day regardless to rough tide and perform Ikejime technique, as well as those of farmers who brought waste land into cultivation and deliver us organic vegetables. Subsequently upon receiving many congratulatory words I shared the rapture with the staff I spent day-to-day service with for those long 5 years.
Umu is finally standing at a new beginning. Continue to cherish and appreciate each and every day, we will take our new step. 

5年間の間にスタッフの再教育、食材ルートの再開拓、什器の充実、毎日の営業のあり方の再チェックなど課題は山済みでしたが、多くの人々に支えられ一歩ずつ進んできました。報告を受けたときに一番に頭に浮かんだのは荒れた海の上で魚を獲り、いけじめをしている漁師たちの顔、荒れた農地を開墾して有機野菜を育てている農家の顔でした。それに続いて多くの方々から祝福の言葉をいただき、5年間の間に日々の営業を共にしたスタッフ皆と共に喜びを分かち合いました。 これでやっとUMUも新たなスタート地点に立てました。一日一日を大切にしながら、これからも次の一歩へと進んでゆきます。

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