Nobu_Nobuyuki Matsuhisha_2

Q&A with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa 

In the midst of his Taste of Nobu culinary events throughout the U.S. (the next one takes place in Washington DC on April 24), we chatted with the one and only Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, who founded his namesake restaurant in New York 30 years ago. Here, Chef Matsuhisa discusses his Hotel del Coronado restaurant–slated to open in 2025–and how the coming 30 years is all about nurturing the next generation.

It is the coming together of two legends with Hotel del Coronado and Nobu. What drew you to that property and do you have any history there?

I have been a couple times—it is a beautiful location and also I play golf there. Del Coronado is very close to San Diego [Nobu San Diego opened in 2007], and San Diego is a restaurant that does well so it lets us start to grow and they know how do Nobu style—quality, food and service. For me, it is comfortable to open the restaurant. [We] can get the product from San Diego.

What can guests expect at the new restaurant?

At the beginning, we have to do the Nobu concept—like in San Diego. We like to introduce the Nobu signatures, and then it will depend on the location and depend on the guest. It is why people come to Nobu restaurants; [they are] comfortable.


Nobu restaurants are on five different continents. Is there a destination you have yet to pursue?

Not looking for me. Since 1994—it has been 30 years [since the New York opening]—the teams have grown. They are like family. As the business grows, the team grows. In the beginning, I trained everyone almost. Now, they are training for the next generation. Doing this a long time, the beginning was tough. But now, for me, I am a lucky person. My boys, my girls, my kids are around me. Nobu is family.

Do you have a crowning achievement thus far in your career?

I have so many. I am very happy. I appreciate my teams and, of course, the guests that keep coming. My guests are second-generation—they used to come with their parents, now they come alone or are married or with their kids. Even people who work with me—the father worked me, making the tempura, and now his son does the same job. I am very happy I am still working. I have so much appreciation for our guests, my teams, my family.


What does your next 30 years hold?

I hope in the next 30 years, I am still alive [laughs]. Seriously, [when I was young] I almost tried to kill myself but I didn’t because a lot of people supported me. Now, at my age, I am a lucky person, and I like to support the next generation, my teams. That is my dream. I give the key to open the door, but then [my team member] has to go and push to the next step. I don’t know how many more years I can live, but I like to keep trying as much as possible and keep supporting.

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