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Profile: Yoshihiro Murata, Owner & Chef of Kikunoi

Career

Born the first son to a family operating the long-standing Kikunoi Restaurant in Gion, Kyoto, he traveled to France to train in the techniques of French cuisine while still a student at Ritsumeikan University. He performed his apprenticeship at the Kamome Restaurant in Nagoya after graduation. After returning to his family home in Kyoto in 1976, he opened the Kikunoi Kiyamachi Restaurant. He was named Representative Director of Kikunoi Co., Ltd. in 1993.
Declaring his life’s work as “accurately communicating Japanese cuisine to the world” and “cooking for the public benefit”, he works to highlight and address issues of “culinary underprivilege” through activities such as in-flight meals (with Singapore Airlines) and the “shokuiku” dietary education movement (by visiting and lecturing at medical care facilities and schools).
Awarded with "Gendai no Meiko" ("Contemporary Master Craftsman") and "Kyoto-fu Sangyo Korosha" ("Kyoto Prefecture Industry Distinguished Service") in 2012, "Kyoto-fu Bunka Korosho" ("Kyoto Prefecture Culture Distinguished Service Award") in 2013, and with "Chiiki Bunka Korosha" ("Regional Person of Cultural Merit ") in 2014.
He is currently Director of the NPO Japanese Culinary Academy.

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Major Publications

  • Kaiseki: The Exquisite Cuisine of Kyoto's Kikunoi Restaurant, published by Kodansha USA, Inc.
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