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Nobuyuki Matsuhisa – known to the world simply as “Nobu” – is the acclaimed and highly influential chef proprietor of Nobu and Matsuhisa restaurants located across five continents.
Nobu was born in Saitama, Japan, the son of a lumber merchant who died in a traffic accident when the future chef was just seven years old. He traces the beginnings of his professional ambition to the day his older brother took him to a sushi restaurant for the first time. Young Nobu found himself fascinated by everything about the environment. He knew then he was destined for a career in the kitchen.
Nobu draws upon his classical training at Sushi bars in Tokyo and his life abroad in Peru, Argentina, and it was here that he developed his unique cuisine style by improvising with many new ingredients form South America. After three years he moves again, first to Buenos Aires, and later to Alaska. But a fire destroyed his first restaurant, so in 1977 he moved to Los Angeles. In 1987, he opened the restaurant “Matsuhisa” in Beverly Hills .
Matsuhisa was an instant success and became a magnet for food lovers and celebrities alike. It was here that his longtime friendship and business relationship with Robert De Niro began. It was at De Niro’s urging that they opened Nobu in New York City in 1994 with restaurateur Drew Nieporent. Like Matsuhisa, Nobu was a hit.
Nobu currently has 29 restaurants in 25 different cities around the world, also consults for Crystal Cruises, and is the author of six cookbooks.