Chef Shinobu Namae of L’Effervescence - Biography

Tokyo, Japan

July 2012

Chef Shinobu Namae waited until after graduating college (and not with a culinary degree) to begin his culinary soujourn, working first for an Italian chef in Tokyo and later for Michael Bras’ Toya in Hokkaido for five years, where he learned how to forage, work with local farms, and several culinary techniques. After being made sous chef (and a brief stage for Bras in France), Namae traveled to England where he worked at The Fat Duck, specializing as a pastry chef. His L’Effervescence, which opened in 2010, reflects his soul: poetic and whimsical, and yet serious and driven. When asked why he loves the restaurant world, he says, “because the restaurants love me!” To the question “what is your most important kitchen rule” he responds: “every deed has its reason.” Just like his cryptic answers, Namae’s cooking makes you think—and belies deep contemplation on the chef’s part.