Journey through Taglio Sartoriale / 4

The fourth emerging chef of the Grana Padano project comes from Tokyo: meet Isamu Hirayama

Isamu Hirayama, the chef at restaurant Daining in

Isamu Hirayama, the chef at restaurant Daining in Tokyo, is one of the 6 emerging chefs who will participate in the finals of Taglio Sartoriale Internazionale - The New Generation, a project created by Grana Padano in collaboration with Identità Golose. The final step will take place on Tuesday 11th February on the occasion of the Identità Milano Congress

Japan’s love for Italy is something well known and even reciprocated seeing the appeal that Japanese culture has on Italians. The world of cuisine is one of the fields in which this Eastern preference for all that has to do with Italy is best represented. This is what stands out when reading Isamu Hirayama’s curriculum: the pursue of an objective, that of becoming a chef, something that he conquered year after year, thanks to his important choices with regards to training and profession.

After graduating from the Tsuji Culinary Institute in Tokyo, the chef born in 1978 starts to work in the teams of Italian restaurants in the Japanese capital. Tullio and Blues are the first springboards that motivate Hirayama to dedicate two years of his life to Italy and its restaurants. After taking the first steps in Milan, the chef who was then little over twenty, travels from South to North, across Italy: from Palermo’s Bye Bye Blues to Caffè Groppi in Trecate (Novara).

In 2000 the big chance arrives: at Ezio Santin’s Antica Osteria del Ponte. Here he spends an intense year, rich in Italian ingredients and recipes highlighting the raw materials and illustrating the tradition of this country. This period becomes the apprenticeship that allows Hirayama to enter the kitchen of the Santin’s family in Tokyo, those coordinated by chef Stefano dal Moro.

Stefano Dal Moro

Stefano Dal Moro

Here he strengthens his knowledge of Italian cuisine and builds the foundations for his future career. This experience is followed by the direction of the kitchens of restaurants Segreto Nishiazabu and Osteria monte-mare Tottorine also in Tokyo.

Today Hirayama is the chef at Daining and was pointed out by Stefano Dal Moro himself as an emerging chef capable of standing out because of his talent and his professionalism. The dish created by Hirayama for Taglio Sartoriale Internazionale – The New Generation is called Black risotto with chestnuts, powdered liquorish and Grana Padano and it will be prepared on February 11th, on the occasion of the tenth edition of Identità Milano, for a jury of experts directed by Paolo Marchi and composed by representatives of Consorzio Grana Padano, journalists Eleonora Cozzella and Roberto Perroneand chef Fabio Pisani of Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia in Milan.

Previously published biographies:
Giorgio Rapicavoli
Denny Imbroisi
Key Fukada