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StarChefs

Noriyuki Sugie
ASIATE
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
80 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019
(212) 805-8881

Biography»

Interview:
StarChefs: Why did you start cooking?
Noriyuki Sugie: My first job was as a line cook in a California style restaurant. I also went out to dinner with my parents a lot. I had French food for the first time when I was 13-years-old.

SC: What advice/tip do you have for young cooks just getting started?
NS: Taste everything throughout the entire process…the stocks, the reductions.

SC: Who are your chef mentors?
NS: Chef Michele Travine was the most influential. He is an artist. He’d always sketch a dish; make an image. He’d pick out a plate; determine the taste. Charlie Trotter is a great team leader. It’s like a sports team. In France it’s very calm, quiet. In America, kitchens are bursting with energy, exciting. It was Chef Michele’s suggestion that I go to work for Trotter.

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Noriyuki Sugie
ASIATE | New York City

Born in Japan, Nori started working in a restaurant in Tokyo at the age of 15 to support his passion as a guitar player. After training in his native country, he explored the classic French techniques while working at various Michelin-starred restaurants in Bordeaux. The next stop on his culinary odyssey was America – working as chef de partie at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. Moving half-way around the world again, he worked for renowned chef Tetsuya Wakuda in Sydney, Australia before opening his own Restaurant VII in Sydney. Now as chef de cuisine for Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental, New York, Sugie’s menu reflects his own harmonious synthesis of French and Japanese cuisine.

 

Scallop Tartare, Fennel Cream and
Crushed Rice Crackers

Chef Nori Sugie of Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel - New York, NY
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

    Scallop tartare:
  • 4 Hokkaido scallops, small dice
  • ¼ asian pear, small dice
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon chives, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon hazelnut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    Fennel cream:
  • 1 medium fennel
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed Rice crackers

Method:
Scallop tartare:
Combine scallops and pear with shallot, ginger and chives. Add olive oil, hazelnut oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients very well and reserve.

Fennel cream:
Thin slice the fennel bulb and sweat in vegetable oil. Add heavy cream, chicken stock, fennel seeds, white wine and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat until fennel is tender. Remove from heat and blend until smooth. Keep refrigerated.

To serve:
Place one Tablespoon of scallop tartare in a shot glass. Top with a teaspoon of fennel cream and finish with a sprinkle of crushed rice cracker.

 

Interview Cont'd
SC: What’s a favorite ingredient of yours at the moment?
NS: Agar-agar: a seaweed that we use to set things like a gelatin.

SC: What’s your most indispensable kitchen tool?
NS: My Misono knife. I use one knife for everything.

SC: Is there any technique or method you use in an unusual way?
NS: I liquefy foie gras and set it with agar seaweed. I cut and plate it then put sugar on top, torch it just before service for a foie gras crème brulee.

SC: Is there a place you want to travel for culinary research purposes?
NS: Turkey: I heard it’s beautiful. Great architecture, food and spices. Brazil has a growing Japanese community. Its mix of culture is interesting to me.

SC: What are your favorite home-cooked comfort foods?
NS: Soup and noodles, dim sum.

SC: As a musician does music influence your cooking? Do you listen to music in the kitchen?
NS: Music is about harmony and I try for harmony in my dishes and in the kitchen with flavors. No music is allowed in our kitchens--hotel rules. But, I would listen to rock for prep and classical for service.

SC: How is it being a chef in New York as opposed to other cities you worked in?
NS: There’s more freedom. Anything you want to create, you can do it in New York. Also, the line cooks and workers are highly skilled and very creative.

SC: What do you think about the quality of Japanese food in New York?
NS: I like ramen noodles late at night. Japanese is very local, sharing dishes. I like Kenka and Yakitori Taisho.

SC: Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten?
NS: Same job: maybe working on a cookbook. I love cooking. I also like kitchen and restaurant design; new concepts.

SC: Do you find New York and the Amanda Hessers of the world tougher than most cities?
NS: The media is very powerful in New York. This is a tough place; lots of politics. Her review was a bit shocking, but hasn’t affected business; we’re very busy every night. With restaurant reviews, everybody has their favorites. In New York there’s no scale. In France they have criteria. Here the judging is out of control. If you look at Michelin and James Beard--there’s too much power with one person. It’d be better if many people made the decisions.

 

 


   Published: April 2005

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