Pastry Chef Masaki Okazaki of Fiorentina Pastry Boutique at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo - Biography

Tokyo, Japan

July 2012

Pastry Sous Chef Masaki Okazaki is an award-winning machine. He’s taken various medals at Utsumi Pastry Junior Cup, Luxardo Grand Premio, Coup de Monde, and the World Pastry Team Championship. But it was in 2012 when the chef won the coveted Mondial des Arts Sucrés for his innovative and artistic desserts. The four-day battle in Paris—Okazaki's first overseas competition—consisted of 16 teams of pastry chefs, preparing a bevy of pastry delicacies. It was Okazaki’s “circus-themed” pastries (including a candy clown, a pastillage of trapeze, and a chocolate lion) that took the top prize. His philosophy is simple: for presentation, it should look elegant no matter who it is served to; for texture, he likes gentle, fork-ready cakes and pastries; for taste, he likes subtle flavors.

Hailing from Hiroshima, Okazaki loved sweets as a child, so he never wanted any life other than that of a pastry chef. He began working at Japan's Rhiga Royal Hotel in 1999. In 2003, he joined the Grand Hyatt’s pastry department, working under renowned executive pastry chef Junichi Goto (himself a Coup de Monde winner). Though his work at the hotel’s Fiorentina Pastry Boutique has garnered raves, Okazaki has aspirations of one day opening his own pastry shop in Japan or studying abroad.