Asia’s Best Pastry Chef 2024, sponsored by Valrhona

Asia’s Best Pastry Chef 2024, sponsored by Valrhona

Mineko Kato

Faro, Tokyo

The chef who’s mastered the bold and beautiful art of sustainable pastry

Born in Tokyo with a childhood spent between the UK and Italy, Mineko Kato has a unique culinary background and singular style that has catapulted her to the forefront of Asia’s pastry scene.

Kato began her confectionery career honing her skills in the pastry sections of illustrious European kitchens, most notably at Massimo Bottura’s legendary Osteria Francescana in Modena (one of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ Best of the Best). In 2018, Kato’s love of the craft took her back to her roots to take the helm of the pastry section at Faro, a restaurant on the 10th floor of Tokyo’s iconic Shiseido building.

Kato joined Faro under the leadership of Kotaro Nado – a fellow Japanese-Italian fusion chef – when the restaurant was in the midst of a culinary rebirth, pivoting away from its former, more traditional European outlook in favour of plant-forward dishes that fused Italian inflections with Japanese kaiseki dining. Since taking the reins, Kato has transformed the dessert offering, presenting pastries and sweets that encapsulate the restaurant’s planet-forward philosophy by managing to be both sustainably crafted and visually stunning.

Kato’s signature creation, the Satoyama flower tart, is emblematic of this blend of style and substance. The dish pulls from her international background, with a flavour profile inspired by an Italian post-dinner amaro digestif and ingredients sourced from the meeting point of Japan’s human settlements (sato) with its mountainous forests and hills (yama). The delicate vegetable-based tart shell, which is filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with a technicoloured bouquet of 30 to 40 different herbs and wildflowers, exists to pose a singular question: will the environment of Japan’s Satoyama still exist 50 years from now?

Each of Kato’s pastry creations elevates pastry beyond the merely delicious and pretty to bring the Faro experience to a finish with a beautifully presented, thoughtful bang. For her boundary-pushing blend of aesthetics and sustainable ethos, Mineko Kato is the winner of the Asia’s Best Pastry Chef Award 2024, sponsored by Valrhona.


8 Chome-8-3 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan

+81 3-3572-3911 Visit Mineko Kato's Website Visit Mineko Kato on Instagram