Michele Abbatemarco Best Pastry Chef of Japan 2024

Photo Gault&Millau Japan.

The Gault&Millau guide announced the Best Pastry Chef of Japan 2024: Michele Abbatemarco of Est, the one starred restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi.
“I am honored to receive this prestigious award – Michele said -. I thank Gault&Millau and all the suppliers who allow us to work with top quality ingredients every day. The recognition goes to the entire pastry team of the restaurant. They share my passion and we will continue to work hard to offer our guests the artistic creations capable of being carved in one’s memory!”.



From Monferrato to Tokyo
From the Piedmontese hills of Monferrato, Michele Abbatemarco traced a “stellar” path through multiple European cuisines and beyond. Born in 1980, his passion for food has accompanied him since he was a child, “learning the value of genuine ingredients, thanks to my grandfather who took me to the market, where he knew all the farmers: I tasted and learned, educating my palate since I was a child”.
After a diploma in professional catering, Michele “met and fell in love with pastry making”, which led him to the French Riviera and then to Lucas Carton (***Michelin) in Paris, where he discovered “the maximum gastronomy expression”, thanks to chef Alain Senderen. Then he was back to Italy, at the Locanda del Sant’Ufficio (*Michelin), in the province of Asti, and then at the Antica Osteria del Ponte (**Michelin), in Cassinetta Lugagnano (Milan), which also has a location in Tokyo, where he arrived in 2005, and then he moved at Michel Troisgros’ boutique and restaurant, also in the Japanese capital.
Thanks to his professional experiences, he understood how much a chef could be an artist, taking inspiration from any nuance around him. So he became interested in painting, sculpture and architecture, to enhance the beauty in his dishes, “playing with shapes, colours, structures, and flavours”.



The pastry vision of Abbatemarco

Since 2020, Abbatemarco has been the pastry chef of the est, where he has put into practice his European attitude shaped over the years by the Japanese culture, which Michele has studied through its ingredients, gestures and rituals, then conceiving his personal recipes: “I love and respect the seasons and the colors that represent them. I want my dishes to be light and balanced, finding beauty in the raw materials that I discover thanks to our suppliers, such as wasanbon (a type of sugar), gyuhi (rice paste), and kanten (seaweed jelly). Not to mention the myriad of fruits, which reflect the 72 micro-seasons in Japan”.
In the restaurant of the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi, dessert is connected to the savory menu: Michele works in harmony with chef Guillaume Bracaval, sharing ideas and developing recipes. “In Tokyo we are a gastronomic point of reference, where everything happens in harmony”. Each dish of the menu is the fruit of an eco-sustainable approach, to minimize waste. 95% of the ingredients are of local and national origin.
The desserts conceived by the Japan’s Best Pastry Chef are sort of miniature art examples, in which every detail is carefully chosen: “The flavors are like poems that speak to our palate. As with art, we must experience emotions with dishes. If this emotion becomes a memory, it means that my work is done!” the pastry chef says, as a true art lover. In May, he will collaborate with the famous artist Saki Tanaka: “Breath” and “Rhythm”, or the central themes of Tanaka’s work, will become edible thanks to Abbatemarco’s creativity.




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