Ringside seats: At Florilège, chef Hiroyasu Kawate serves his creative tasting menus of contemporary French cuisine in a spacious, theatrical setting. The plush counter seating running three sides of the expansive open kitchen allows guests to watch their dishes being prepared, while also interacting directly with the front and back of house teams throughout the meal.
Cooking in his DNA: Kawate comes from a family of chefs: as a child he never had any doubt that he wanted to follow the same path. After working at Le Jardin des Sens in Montpellier, France, for a year, he returned to Tokyo in 2007 as sous chef at Quintessence under chef Shuzo Kishida. He opened Florilège in 2009, before moving to new premises in Tokyo’s Jingumae district where he won two Michelin stars in 2018. The restaurant is on the move again to fresh premises later in 2023 and Kawate already started the year strong: he was voted by his peers as the recipient of the Inedit Damm Chefs' Choice Award 2023.
Sustainability on the menu: Wherever possible, Kawate uses locally sourced ingredients, imbuing his menus with a distinctive Japanese character. He also has a deep passion for sustainability. One of his signature dishes uses the meat of mature, 13-year-old cows that have been fattened up instead of being discarded at the end of their breeding life. Called ‘sustainability beef’, it is served with a consommé prepared from vegetables scraps that would otherwise have been thrown away.
Offshoots and side projects: In February 2021, Florilège pastry chef Miho Horio opened her own dedicated dessert counter, Azuki to Kouri ("Red beans and Ice"), specialising in next-level kakigori (shaved ice) creations. Meanwhile, Denkushiflori, Kawate’s joint venture with his longtime friend (and fishing buddy) chef Zaiyu Hasegawa of Den, won a Michelin star of its own.