Luca Fantin (pictured) with Katsuhito Inoue
Spaghetti with sea urchin and lettuce
Ginza Tower 2-7-12 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Who, where and what? Born in Treviso, Italy, chef Luca Fantin arrived in Tokyo in 2009, as the opening chef at Il Ristorante in Bulgari’s Ginza Tower. His cuisine is creative, contemporary and deeply embedded in the cycle of Japan’s seasons.
Worth getting dressed up for? Absolutely. Il Ristorante Luca Fantin is as sophisticated as its setting — a soaring 9th-floor dining room overlooking the famous avenue that runs through the heart of Tokyo’s Ginza neighbourhood.
Signature dishes: Fantin’s menus reflect the ingredients he sources throughout Japan. In winter, look for his Variation of carrot, featuring special carrots harvested under snow in the coldest season, as well as his Hokkaido venison with salsify. In summer, don’t miss the spaghetti with sea urchin or the eel risotto.
He’s well regarded back home: In 2014, the Italian culinary guide Identità Golose anointed Fantin as the Best Italian Chef in the World.
Collaborations: For the past three years, Fantin has hosted a series of four-hands events entitled In Cibo Veritas (“Truth In Food”), introducing some of the world’s top chefs, from Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana and Carlo Cracco of Ristorante Cracco to Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, Dan Hunter of Brae and Hideaki Sato of Ta Vie.
Other ventures: Bulgari has a property in Osaka and recently opened a resort in Bali. As executive chef, Fantin oversees all three.