Fumio Yonezawa Chef x Masahiko Kusagaya Special Dialogue

-The second part-

Fumio Yonezawa Chef x Masahiko Kusagaya
Special dialogue

-The second part-

A dialogue between a discerning chef and a special leather craftsman who respect each other! Although the industry is different, they have many common points, such as passion as a creator and thoughts for the next generation. As a chef, as a leather craftsman, what is the "something" that you have felt as your career has exceeded 20 years? And what do you want to tell the children who will lead the future?

■ This partner

Fumio Yonezawa Chef

Born in Tokyo in 1980. After graduating from high school, he trained at a restaurant in Ebisu for four years and moved to the United States alone in 2002. He became the first Japanese Sue chef at the main store at the Michelin Sannoshi regular luxury French "Jean-Georges" head office. After returning to Japan, he served as the chef at a famous domestic store. In 2022, he opened his first owner restaurant "NO CODE" in Nishiazabu. He is not only a chef, but also has a wide range of activities from food education to product development. His book is "Vegan Recipe" (Shibata Shoten).


Kusagaya: It's been 20 years since I started retailing in March this year, but I'm very grateful that there are quite a few customers who have been attending for 20 years.

Yonezawa 20 years? That's great.

Kusagaya: I'm really grateful. We have been able to grow with such customers, especially in the unstable social situation in the past two years, and we have been supported by the relationship between craftsmen and customers, "Brooklyn together. There is a feeling that I have been protecting the brand "Museum".

Yonezawa It's a great relationship. That may be possible in the food and beverage industry. For the past two years, the food and beverage industry has been in a headwind, but most of the surviving shops have fans. There are many "delicious shops", but there are not many shops that you can choose like "Let's go there". Once again, I realize the importance of trust with customers. In the future, even if you calm down socially, this trend will not change, but I think that the presence or absence of mental connections with customers will be strongly reflected in management.

Kusagaya: In that case, the presence of those who sympathize with the creators is also important.

Yonezawa I think so. In response to customers' expectations, it is very important to do a business on the ground. If you can sympathize with the concept of the shop, become a fan, and create a special connection, I think that is the ideal form. If that happens, I think that even if the times change, it will not shake.

Kusagaya It would be ideal if we could create a "connection" that needs each other. This is the increasing number of opportunities to think every year, but if you have been continuing for a long time, is there a moment when you feel a "mysterious edge"?

Yonezawa is insane. In particular, I feel it very much for the past year. Is the old connection in shape? There were many times that I thought, "I'm glad I came." This is the 24th year for the first time in cooking, but there were a lot of things, such as suddenly, the connection from about 20 years ago, and I had to meet a nostalgic person and do something together. hey.

Kusagaya: I had a lot of similar things.

Yonezawa: I thought at some point, but this is a "reward I have been doing." If you do it for a long time, there are a lot of painful events, but there are many happy moments where the rim is shaped by continuing, so I think that "continuing" is one way to expand your chances.

I understand Kusagaya. There is a "reward that you continued to do".

Yonezawa: This is what I want to tell young people who are starting to do something. When you are young, you tend to be impatient with the results, saying "I want to succeed immediately" and "I want to be evaluated", but if you keep doing it even if you are not evaluated early because your life is long, you will be evaluated at your own timing. I knew it was something, so I would like to be able to convey it as an experience. It is extremely rare to succeed with pawns in their twenties, and that momentum continues to their 60s. Instead, it is important to steadily gain geographical strength toward the ideals you aim for at your own pace, and if you continue to do that, you will someday get a reward you have done. So, I hope I can do that stance for the next 20 years.

Kusagaya It's important to keep your stance and pace. Recently, I have come to think that "basic skills" are important again. Even if you incorporate new things, you can't load something new unless the foundation is solid.

Yonezawa basic power is very important. I think that the width of the expression will change depending on how large the base as a creator is, but if the base is small, it may not be applied and it will not be able to go. In particular, I often feel it in the current situation. If there is a certain foundation, there will be no shaking, and I think that you will be able to take on the foundation of new ideas, responding to social changes, and prepared to take a step.


Yonezawa This is always the case, but sustainability will be a must in any industry in the future. I always think that I have to prepare infrastructure that can make "food circulation", but Mr. Kusagaya has been working for a long time, right?

The reason why you have to prepare Kusagaya infrastructure is the leather. There is no infrastructure that circulates leather. Now, I'm making leather items made of Japanese beef skin to see if I can manage the skin of the Japanese beef that had been discarded, but most of the skins that can be commercialized are only a small part. Is being discarded. I want to change this.

In order to change Yonezawa, you need to understand the value of Japanese beef leather and put it on track as a business. You can see that cheap overseas leather is chosen, but then you can't create a circulation in Japan, so I want to do something.

Kusagaya: That's exactly what you say. There is a limit to the amount of Japanese beef leather that can be used at home, so I think it is an issue that needs to be worked on more throughout the industry. At the same time as increasing the number of colleagues who use Japanese beef leather, I try and error every day, hoping that we can become a model case by succeeding in business with Wagyu leather items.

Yonezawa: This is something common in any industry, but if you are recognized as added value as overseas, it will surely change various things that are sustainable and low in the environment. hey. The price of raw materials is soaring, and I think it will come when you have to raise the price. In such a case, it is a big turning point whether there is an understanding of sustainable initiatives and whether there are customers who accept the rise in purchasing values ​​to the price.

Kusagaya: I agree. I feel that many people sympathize with my efforts and thoughts are really grateful. In the future, I feel that we need to focus more on efforts not only for products, but also for the entire relationship, not only for products.

The existence of supporters who can understand the reason for Yonezawa will be important in any business in the future. Otherwise, it will be difficult to challenge directly in the price.

Kusagaya: I think it's exactly what you say.

Yonezawa: In addition, for a while, the price will rise in all fields due to the situation in Ukraine, and the yen is depreciating, so as a person living in Japan without resources, this is assuming various situations. You have to respond flexibly without sticking to your thoughts.

Kusagaya That's right. Although it seems that the situation will continue, I would like to continue updating my industry and giving dreams as I am making my beliefs.

Yonezawa: I have the same feeling.


Kusagaya: Recently, I've been trying to make use of leather cuts as much as possible, and I've been making chord clips. I think what I can do right now is to use up without waste.

It is a stylish code clip that you do not think it was made with Yonezawa!

Kusagaya: I used this kind of end to try to have children experience manufacturing. A number of customers with children said, "Can you have an event for children?"

To Yonezawa ~ It looks interesting!

Kusagaya: At that time, about 10 children gathered, but at first we talked about food education and "This kind of leather is made from the meat we usually eat." The items that I made with are carefully used so that I can use it for a long time, so I can use it for years. " I talked.

How was the reaction of Yonezawa Child?

Kusagaya Children seemed to understand that the cut ends of the leather were special, so everyone was interested, so everyone said, "Let's make decorations using this leather!" I made it. Intuition that the leather is hollowed out in the shape of the leaves and moves his hands, saying, "This is a leather that changes over time, so when everyone is 20 years old, it should have changed to his own color." He seemed to feel that this was a good thing that lasts for almost 10 years, and his handling was polite.

Yonezawa Child is honest.

Kusagaya Yes, really. After finishing, every child was happily talking to my parents, and if I could enjoy it while having fun, I wanted to continue to create that kind of opportunity.

Yonezawa experience will grow people. As with adults, I think it is very great for children to gain from actual experiences. I think it's great to go, see it with your own eyes, experience it, and get information with the whole body.

As with Kusagaya's child, I hear that there are many children who are looking at a cram school or smartphone in time other than school now, so adults have to actively take them to such places. It may not be good. While secondary information and tertiary information are overflowing, it is a bit scary to raise children with real blood flesh.

It is very important for children to get information accompanied by Yonezawa. The same is true for food, and I think it's important to know good things first. If you know good things, you'll be able to become a "choice person" when you are forced to make an adult. That doesn't mean you don't eat expensive things or junk food, but I want you to increase your food experience in order to become an adult who can choose with your own thoughts.

Does Kusagaya Yonezawa talk about that with your child?

It is not a story about Yonezawa's direct experience, but the other day, her daughter learned about SDGs in elementary school, especially about water, and was taught a lot. I am also working on thinking about the future of the sea in "Chefs for the Blue", so I was going to know to some extent, but when I talked from a child's perspective, I sometimes noticed it again. There were many. It was an event that I thought I was learning from my child.

Kusagaya That's right.

In the modern age where Yonezawa information is overflowing like a flood, even adults are difficult to select information, but to do it on their own, I think that the hurdles are quite high. Until you are at a certain age and you can make a judgment in yourself, your parents can guide them, so it's better to let your children experience the "experience" and "the opportunity to think". Rather, if there is no place to have an ideal experience, I think it would be fine for parents to prepare.

As a Kusagaya Brooklyn Museum, I would like to be a place where schools can provide experiences that schools can not be able to touch the process of being created by top -class craftsmen or know the process of making leather items. I was thinking and had an event before, but I want to do that again when society calms down. Just because there are many customers who have children in elementary school, I often hear the voices of wanting them to experience them. Is it called "social study that moves your hands" other than cram schools and lessons? I wish I could be such a place.

Yonezawa "Social study that moves your hands" is that good! I would be glad if you could notice something important in yourself through such an experience. For example, I like to make, think about thinking, eat, and I really do anything. Surely, each of these experiences will create your own values, and in the future, it will be an original experience when choosing a profession in the future.

Kusagaya Certainly. When you choose a job, you have some kind of original experience.

I want Yonezawa Children to find a child -like future image, but it's very difficult, but from our generation, I feel that something like a "common future image" is shaking. That's not the life of leaving college and entering the company, but if you want to do what you want to do even if you are out of the rails, I feel like we're about 20 years old. For example, entrepreneurship.

Kusagaya may be so.

Yonezawa: I'm fortunate to be able to do what I want to do, but then, if I can give some advice on my children today, the times are different and I can't say it in general. That's why I want to help you make that value standard so that you can find your own way of life.

Society has changed drastically in the last 20 years. As you say, what you can do, as you can think of what you can do, it may be important to create a “standard” to be able to choose.


Yonezawa: What would you do if you collaborate with me and Kusagaya?

Kusagaya That's right ... For example, you can make a menu cover used in Yonezawa's shop with leather, a credit card signboard, and a cash tray with leather.

Yonezawa is good! Looks cool!

Kusagaya For example, if you become a leather or cook from a cow that uses Yonezawa, it seems to be interesting to create a story there.

Yonezawa That's right! It's interesting that some of the foods are in front of you in a different shape. Is it a visible circulation? If you listen to the story at the time of accounting, it seems that the lingering as an experience will be born.

Kusagaya seems to be a trigger to think about various things.

Yonezawa I want you to make it!

Kusagaya After that, it seems interesting for real events. In the sense of creating an opportunity to study social studies to move your hands. For example, for children in our store, we did a workshop to make leather accessories, served Yonezawa's dishes in catering, and served alcohol for adults (laughs). So, I donated a part of the sales, and asked my child to experience that.

Yonezawa is good! That's excellent! It will be a child's experience, and it will be an opportunity for adults and children to experience circulation with food, leather!

Kusagaya Let's realize it soon!

Let's do Yonezawa! I'm looking forward to it again.

From the spring interview, it was summer, and we went to Yonezawa's new store [NO CODE], which opened the other day.
We enjoyed delicious course dishes, and finally delivered persimmon astringent dyeing and indigo dyeing cash tray.

A cash tray that aged with the history of the shop. When you come to the store, please check the last.

Edit by Ryuichi Takao