Column My L’Osier


Restaurant that tells
the true story of France
Éric Kayser
(French boulanger La Maison Kayser)
An Everlasting
Restaurant of Legend
Masao Saisu
(Chef at Cote d’Or)
A Restaurant in
a Quest for True Gastronomy
Jean-Paul Hévin
A France-style Salon,
Full with Culture
Kiichiro Motoyama
(President of Sun Motoyama Co., Ltd.)
A vanguard ushering
in the new era
Toru Okuda
(Owner and chef of Ginza Kojyu)
The pinnacle of
French cuisine in Japan
Dominique Bouchet
(Owner & chef of Dominique Bouchet restaurant)
The Most French Restaurant
out of France
Eric Frechon
(Executive Chef of Hotel Le Bristol)
The long-awaited
third chapter of L’Osier
Rie Ohata
(former L’Osier publicist)
A Special Restaurant
Christel Takigawa
L’Osier’s renaissance
Michel Temman
My life with L’Osier
Jacques Borie
(L’Osier Project Supervisor)

Restaurant that tells the true story of FranceÉric Kayser (French boulanger La Maison Kayser)

Delicious. Clearly flavored. Precise.

Minimalistic. Just (exact). Assortment of rich, full-flavored seasonal foods from different locations and magnificent French (grand) service. L’Osier I visited then was a cozy private restaurant tucked away in the otherwise bustling Ginza district. The restaurant housed an art collection that contained a mix of contemporary and Art Nouveau works. It was an icon of French cuisine in Tokyo. Even in France, there are few restaurants where you can find such perfectly elegant offerings. There was a wonderful balance of various parfums (aromas), textures, and flavors. The selection of wines and champagne was, needless to say, spectacular. And the meal concluded with a delectable tea. The chef, who appeared cordial, conversed happily with guests, speaking in a mixture of Japanese and French. This was the moment I’ve learned how the Japanese loved my friend Jacques Borie. This was the impression I received from my visit to L’Osier in 2004, when I visited with my friend and Japanese business partner for Maison Kayser, Shuichiro Kimura. It was a terrific opportunity, and a very unforgettable and special dinner.

I knew that in Japan it was important to become good friends first before entering into a business relationship, otherwise things would not go well later. For me, this describes how my relationship developed with Mr. Kimura, and for Jacques Borie, this is likely how his relationship formed with the people at Shiseido. At Maison Kayser, we pay especially close attention to the needs of our customers in Japan, right down to the size of every piece of bread we bake. Our bread products in Japan are very small (unlike those at our boulangerie in America, where our breads are large). Our baguettes are the same as in France, 220g and made from wheat flour. However, all of our other products are miniaturise (reduced in size). The Japanese have a penchant for petite breads, each with a different distinct flavor. In Japan, close attention is given to the packaging of our bread. Sometimes I think it is somewhat excessive. From the standpoint of both environmental impact and the preservation of the flavor of our bread products, my staff in Japan and I are currently thinking of switching our packaging and adopting the economical packaging practices we use in France. In this manner, some of the positive aspects of France are likely to gradually sink into the lifestyles of the Japanese people. L’Osier is a restaurant that tells the true story of France’s history in Japan but with a distinctive Japanese touch that is attentive, detailed, and subtle. I found the achievement of this exquisite balance to be a surprisingly superb feat.

An Everlasting Restaurant of LegendMasao Saisu (Chef at Cote d’Or)

My acquaintance with L’Osier began with a single telephone call. Jacques Borie, then chef at L’Osier, had received several copies of the book Le Tour Du Monde En 80 Toques (published 1990) from France, and I was told he wanted to give some of the books to me. There at the old L’Osier (before its 1999 remodeling), I received about 30 copies of the book. I visited for a mere 20 minutes or so, paying my regards and chatting a little before leaving.

I found Jacques rich in humanity—a bit shy, but warm, with a sense of humor—and I quickly became a wholehearted fan of the chef. While his restaurant was undergoing renovation, Jacques would come over to eat at Cote d’Or from time to time with his friends of Shiseido, or he would come to visit me during our break time in the afternoon, so I had many chances to talk with him during which I received valuable advice from him on cuisine. His words became my encouragement and vitality, and they live on even now in my menu.

Kyubei Ogata, who spearheads the new L’Osier renovation project, was always with Jacques, so his presence and character have enhanced the sense of reliability, comfort and overall cordiality I feel at L’Osier. So in 1999, after that renovation was completed, I visited with five friends, curious to see how the remodeling had turned out. The first thing I felt upon opening the door was a sense of complete satisfaction. Jacques Borie’s taste was everywhere, down to the tiniest detail. It was reflected in the rich interior with just the right sense of space, in the service, and of course, in the cuisine.

Considering what cuisine his customers would like to enjoy, Jacques continued to deliver no curves, serving dishes with his human touch. I would imagine there are many people who become L’Osier aficionados because they yearn for his sense of humanity. In my heart, Jacques Borie has become synonymous with L’Osier, a restaurant I love.

I am full of hope for the new L’Osier—that it will always remain as an everlasting legend.

Masao Saisu
Born in 1950, Masao Saisu spent twelve years in France from 1973, working at a number of three-star restaurants before returning to Japan in 1985. Cherishing his memories of the chefs he had met during that time, he has worked as owner and chef of Cote d’Or, and still continues to lead his team on the front line of kitchen.

A Restaurant in a Quest for True GastronomyJean-Paul Hévin, Chocolatier

I first met Jacques Borie when he visited Paris in 1982 to compete in the contest for the MOF (Meilleurs Ouvriers de France; “Best French Craftsman”). At the time, I was working as a chief pâtissier under Joël Robuchon at the Hotel Nikko. I remember assisting him by teaching him how to make brioches. I later ate at L’Osier—the restaurant Borie directed—several times when visiting Tokyo. What a grande cuisine! What a grande luxe! The restaurant left a tremendous impression on me as one which spared no effort in its pursuit of gastronomy. To be perfectly honest, most restaurants are bound by budget, management, and revenue concerns. It is a rare thing to be able to run a restaurant devoted to gastronomy alone (this, however, is not the case for a restaurant supported by a separate financial base, such as hotel business). L’Osier is one of the world’s few fine restaurants truly dedicated to gastronomy, with the repute and prestige of Shiseido riding on its shoulders.

I understand why L’Osier has survived and flourished, so well-loved in Japan for so long. It is because, without a doubt, the Japanese are the most demanding and exacting when it comes to cuisine. The French are demanding as well, but no-one surpasses the Japanese. They are very focused on precise, detailed work and refinement, and are very sensitive to fine nuance. It is not a question of money. True gastronomy cannot be acquired just by lavishing money on it.

My expectations are high for the new L’Osier, especially for its delicious desserts and pastries. I always enjoy delicious pastries, teas, and coffees in the cities I visit around the world, but there are surprisingly few restaurants in Tokyo where one can enjoy authentic, delicious espressos or coffees with the most delectable pastries. I hope that L’Osier offers relaxing afternoon teas, coffees, and pastries as moving and unforgettable as its meals and desserts.

Jean-Paul Hévin
Jean-Paul Hévin trained under Joël Robuchon at the Hotel Nikko de Paris. He is now the world’s most famous chocolatier. After serving as chief pâtissier at Tokyo’s Peltier, he went on to open Le Petit Boulé in Paris in 1988. In 1983, he was awarded first prize in the Grand Prix International de la Chocolaterie Competition, and in 1986 received the MOF (Meilleurs Ouvriers de France) award.

A France-style Salon, Full with CultureKiichiro Motoyama (President of Sun Motoyama Co., Ltd.)

My first visit to L’Osier was on my wedding anniversary. I have known Kazuo Ueda, who now owns the “Tender” bar in Ginza, ever since he was shaking cocktails at Bar L’Osier 20 years ago. L’Osier is emblematic of Ginza—take one step inside and the fragrance of culture spreades, with such a presence that the restaurant might be better called a salon.

My favorite memory of L’Osier is the party for the celebration of my inauguration as president of Sun Motoyama two years ago. Shin Watanabe of “Ichibankan,” Takehiro Kikuchi of “Ginza Kunoya,” and Ryo Saegusa of “Saegusa”. Though they could be considered “young masters,” they were all over 40 at the time, and we took turns congratulating each other when anyone became president. So when it was my turn, we held a party in a corner room of L’osier. We ensconced ourselves in that private room where we could relax the best, and opened bottle after bottle of wine.

Unlike in Nihonbashi, where wholesale business reigns, the primarily retail-focused businessmen of Ginza work with each other across the borders of their individual stores as if the area was a close-knit neighborhood, instead of a modern town, and they have made serving their customers their top priority above all other considerations. Starting with the presence of Toshifumi Nakamoto, Chef-Sommelier at L’Osier, the kitchen staff make every effort to ensure the intentions of the chefs perfectly in the cuisine, and they provide superb service to all customers, regardless of who they are, so that they enjoy a greater joy during their visit. Customers with distinguished careers who gather at L’Osier engage in lively, friendly banter with the staff. Of course they come for the food, but beyond that, they come to meet everyone else who works in Ginza, or who loves Ginza, and it is unparalleled as a place to enjoy communication. That is the essence of L’Osier.

Ginza and Shiseido are inseparably linked. Times are changing, and customer preferences along with them—it would be necessary to meet such changes. However, I hope that what needed to change has been clearly distinguished from the long-beloved features that must be preserved, and that this is reflected in the new L’Osier.

Kiichiro Motoyama
President of Sun Motoyama Co., Ltd., he is a graduate of Lycée Franco-Japonais (a French school for students from French-speaking countries, located in Fujimi-cho, Chiyoda-ku), earning his Baccalauréat qualification there. He grew up in the Ginza area and has continued living there to this day.

A vanguard ushering in the new eraToru Okuda (Owner and chef of Ginza Kojyu)

I believe I was 29 or 30 years old on my first visit to L’Osier. It was as if I had entered the castle of my dreams, and I found myself extremely nervous. It was everything I could have hoped for in a restaurant, but I myself was not ready for such things. You can’t let someone who has just received their driver’s license to drive a luxury car. At that time, L’Osier was the premier restaurant in Japan and I realized I was still too young and naive for such an experience.

My next notable visit was when my restaurant Kojyu was awarded with three Michelin stars. I too had opened a restaurant in Ginza and I was about to set out for L’Osier for a lunch booking when I received the phone call from the Michelin Guide offices.

When I arrived at L’Osier, the sommelier Toshifumi Nakamoto approached me to say, “Mr. Okuda, please keep this between us, but L’Osier has been awarded three stars.” On hearing that, I couldn’t contain myself and I replied, “You won’t believe it, but our restaurant received the same news.” The chef at the time, Bruno Menard, came flying out?“Did you really get three stars?!” It was then that I realized that the chef from the three-star Paris restaurant, Ledoyen, was seated at the table beside me. He too had overheard and I was now “that Japanese boy who got three stars.” The French of course have an understanding of the inherent value of three stars and everyone joined in congratulating me and wishing me well. That was my second memory at L’Osier. It was only after such an event that I was finally able to relax within its walls.

I dined at L’Osier for lunch on the day it was to close its doors for the final time. Three or four years had passed since that day when both my restaurant and L’Osier received three-stars simultaneously. I presented them with a flower arrangement and my well wishes. Throughout my life and throughout my career as a chef, L’Osier has, in some respects, been a watershed for me.

The most unforgettable dish I have ever had was at another lunch at L’Osier the year before last: chicken breast encased in ravioli, with a chestnut puree and white truffles. It was a simple dish, but it was truly astounding and I was convinced it was the most flavorsome in the world.

I expect to relocate my own restaurant Kojyu next year, however it is not this alone which drives me to improve?I also have a desire to grow as a chef, as a man and as a human being before L’Osier is reopened. The new L’Osier will carry the weight of the world’s expectations. I want L’Osier to reveal a new self to the world. It is an opportunity to change its interior and incorporate a new style in its cuisine. Progress cannot be made if one is concerned only with the past. L’Osier should be a vanguard ushering in a new era.

Toru Okuda
Toru Okuda was born in Shizuoka Prefecture in 1969. He has trained in the Japanese style inn and restaurant Kikuya in Shizuoka, Ayu-no-yado Tsutaya in Kyoto, and completed his training at the renowned Aoyagi in Tokushima Prefecture. In 1999 he opened his first restaurant in his hometown in Shizuoka at the age of 29. In 2003, Toru Okuda opened Ginza Kojyu in 2003 and Ginza Okuda in 2011

The pinnacle of French cuisine in JapanDominique Bouchet (Owner & chef of Dominique Bouchet restaurant)

It was when I was the Head Chef at Hotel de Crillon that I first visited L’Osier. That was in 1997, but I have known Jacques Borie for some 30 years. We have been friends since he was at Chardonnay and La Belle Epoque at the Hotel Okura in Tokyo. Jacques has been living in Japan for over 30 years, while I have been travelling between Paris and Tokyo for just as long, so I could say I have seen the progress and changes in French cuisine in Japan.

L’Osier, under Jacques’ command, was exactly the kind of restaurant I would have created in Tokyo. As Head Chef he controlled everything from the ingredients, the cooking, and interior design, to the style of service in order to create a wonderful restaurant. Despite sitting at the pinnacle of French cuisine, the dining area was of a human scale which exuded an undeniably coziness. I think it was the important element which aroused a warmth indispensible for pleasurable dining. After passing through the street-side door, the stairs leading to the restaurant were a fantastic approach, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of Ginza, and heightening ones expectations of the meal.

Within each course, each dish, Jacques’ refined cuisine tries to be straightforward, not blending excessive ingredients and tastes, giving us a tres French sense, among the multitude of French cuisines. Accompanying this cuisine, the amicable communication of Jacques, with his gift for always delighting the customers, has surely pleased many Japanese diners. I recall the fun we two had chatting with customers when I was cooking on invitation at L’Osier. I think that a chef’s individuality and character are in fact a part of the food. The cuisine of L’Osier so loved by Japanese customers surely had a very personal air, exemplifying Jacques’ friendly character and hospitality.

As a chef who has observed French cuisine in Japan over many years, I have great expectations for the reborn L’Osier. I hope the tender, flexible spirit cultivated up to now will not be lost. I pray that the restaurant will continue to offer authentic French cuisine, as a bond between France and Japan.

Dominique Bouchet
Dominique is a French Grand Chef whose talent was discovered by Joel Robuchon. He has worked as Head Chef at such establishments as La Tour d’Argent, and is currently the owner/chef of his namesake restaurant in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. He held collaborative events with Jacques Borie at L’Osier in 2002 and 2003, and was awarded the Legion d’honneur, the highest decoration in France, in 2002.

The Most French Restaurant out of FranceEric Frechon (Executive Chef of Hotel Le Bristol)

It was the year Chef Bruno Menard was awarded three Michelin stars, so it was perhaps in 2007, that I visited Tokyo upon being invited by L’Osier. My mind is filled with the fond memories of having spent a wonderful and fulfilling time together with everyone.

I am not familiar with every little corner of Tokyo, but I found Namiki Street of Ginza to be reminiscent of Avenue Montaigne or Faubourg St. Honore! It was a chic and luxurious cityscape, much like the area around Hotel Le Bristol in Paris where I work. I felt that L’Osier was the kind of restaurant that had to be located in such surroundings.

Poulet de Bresse with its rich flavor, is precious, top quality meat even in France. The carefully chosen cutlery and tableware are a delight to use. Traditional France fuses in harmony with the modern to create an interior honed in every aspect for comfort. I always feel that everything from the interior to the services offered as a show of “the greatest hospitality,” is what makes the “cuisine experience.”

L’Osier’s genuine French cuisine has its roots firmly planted in France, while it continues to challenge traditions. The restaurant has an aura of having had everything from its overall appearance to their services conceived according to the central philosophy behind their cooking. In that sense, I am convinced that of the numerous great French restaurants outside of France, located all over the world, L’Osier is the most French-like restaurant of them all. It is from the bottom of my heart, that I pay my tribute to Jacques Borie, the person who founded this restaurant in Tokyo, and is the best French cuisine presenter in Japan.

So, who is going to become the new chef of L’Osier?!

It is one of the dreams of many French cuisine chefs to be chosen to work at L’Osier. Everything about the restaurant, the kitchen, the outstanding staff, and the quality of guests is too good to the point of almost making me green with envy! To one who devotes himself to creativity in pursuit of excellence, perhaps there is no such thing as being “too good.” If I were to be chosen, it would of course, be my greatest pleasure to oblige. That is how much I hold L’Osier in high regard.

Eric Frechon
The executive chef of Hotel Le Bristol, who was awarded the “M.O.F. (Meilleur Ouvrier de France)” in 1993 at the age of 36. He began work at Bristol in 1999. In 2009, he achieved his dream of being awarded three Michelin stars, and at the same time he was chosen as the “Chef of the Year” by a French cooking magazine. He held an event in collaboration with “L’Osier” in 2007.

The long-awaited third chapter of L’OsierRie Ohata (former L’Osier publicist)

In the streets of Paris, particularly in the 7th arrondissement, you come across many formidable madams. While they may not be young any more, they walk with assurance and carry themselves with aplomb, bedecked in vivid lipsticks, stockings and stylish high heels. They are like the French rose, maintaining an erect and dignified posture to the last. It is this sense of elegance and pride which represents the esprit of French cuisine.

Looking back, the original incarnation of L’Osier on Chuo Street in the 8-chome district was heavily indebted to France in general and Paris in particular. As the nouveau cuisine movement swept the world, L’Osier sought to provide an outlet for its champions in Japan. And at a time when French restaurants were universally regarded as exclusively top-end establishments, L’Osier provided a venue where the sense of enjoyment was evident among the diners.

The relocation to Namiki Street served to enhance every aspect of the L’Osier experience, in the process earning the restaurant its unique status in the industry. In Ginza, where fashion and style seemingly has no limit, L’Osier manages to preserve a timeless classicism while pursuing its own individual brand of honesty. The restaurant is a proud testimony to the professionalism of Jacques Borie and his loyal and dedicated staff and an apt reflection of the Shiseido corporate culture that has been carefully nurtured throughout the long and proud history of the company.

So how will we see the third generation of the L’Osier story evolve? The food should be beautiful to behold and melt-in-the-mouth delicious. The service should be enough to make the diner feel like king (or queen) of the world for a night. Providing an elegant ambience that ensures the utmost enjoyment is an art of the highest order. But above all, L’Osier must be original. It must be a restaurant from which Paris draws its inspiration rather than the other way around; a restaurant that is relentlessly bold and creative; a restaurant that pursues the highest culinary standards while presenting new and exciting offerings that could only come from Tokyo and from Ginza. I am greatly anticipating a return visit to L’Osier in two years’ time. By then I will have been outgrown by my two sons, who I am hoping will escort me to my favorite

Ginza for another wonderful and satisfying meal.

Rie Ohata
Former L’Osier publicist Rie Ohata worked at the Planning Department of Shiseido Parlour from 1982 to 1988 and was closely involved in the setting-up process. She now lives in Paris, where she maintains her association with many leading chefs that she met while working at L’Osier.

A Special RestaurantChristel Takigawa (Presenter)

People are often surprised, but I seldom actually eat out at top class French restaurants, perhaps because I was brought up on my mother’s French cooking. But it is always good to have some variation in life, so when I need a change of pace or simply feel like something a little different, I like to book a table at a nice restaurant, dress up a little, and enjoy a good meal with close friends. One of the special places I like to go to is L’Osier.

Precisely because it is a special restaurant, I don’t go there so frequently. But I remember clearly the first time I went there. I had only been working for two or three years when some of the more experienced TV announcers took me there. We had a private room, and because I was the youngest person in the group, I was quite nervous. I went outside of work twice after that, both times sitting in the main dining area. I had heard that the service was very good, so I was keen to experience it for myself. The first time I wasn’t able to pay too much attention to the interior or service, but on the next occasion I was struck by the relaxing atmosphere and refined decor?neither too opulent nor too minimalistic. That said, I cannot think of another restaurant with a similar feel to it. Unfortunately I am not the kind of gourmet who remembers every detail of a meal, however I do recall that the time we spent there was very pleasant and I cannot forget the careful attention that the staff paid to diners. The service was definitely better than I had expected. The sommelier generously opened a bottle of wine that specially matched the food that we had ordered, and poured it into our glasses. The taste just right, we finished our meal just a pleasant touch under the influence.

Many diners will be eagerly awaiting the re-opening of L’Osier in about three years time, and I am sure that those expectations will provide all the more motivation to the restaurant’s staff. I am certainly one of those who are looking forward to trying new and exciting dishes again come 2013.

Christel Takigawa
Joined Kyodo Television in 2000 and was a popular TV newscaster for affiliate Fuji Television before becoming a freelance television presenter. She has been a promotional figure for Shiseido’s TSUBAKI hair care products since October 2009, featuring in numerous television commercials. Her father is French and her mother Japanese.

L’Osier’s renaissanceMichel Temman (Journalist)

History is always on the move. As is the history of the French famous table and world class restaurant L’Osier, located in the heart of Ginza and Tokyo, on the chic Namiki Street. The best things always come from History. L’Osier ? the word means “willow” in French ? opened first its doors in 1973. But its DNA last for much more time… When the history of Shiseido’s restaurant business started in 1902, with founder Arinobu Fukuhara’s establishment of a soda fountain in his pharmacy. The soda water and ice cream sold here gained popularity. In 1928, it was re-outfitted as the Shiseido Parlour (few steps from L’Osier), serving authentic Western cuisine.

The actual identity of L’Osier appeared in 1986, when the romantic and France-lover Yoshiharu Fukuhara, fan of Paul Claudel, Victor Hugo and Impressionists, and then the highly respected President of Shiseido, decided to propose to the French chef and great gourmet Jacques Borie (Best Chef National Award of France 1982 ? his title was given to him by former French President Francois Mitterrand) to become L’Osier’s new captain. Yoshiharu Fukuhara was researching the best for L’Osier : he got the best. Jacques Borie did accept the proposal. Monsieur Fukuhara gave to him the keys of the House and told him : “Please, do what you want !” Fine and rangy ? a bit Cary Grant’s style ?, very elegant without being a dandy, sometimes hiding his green-hazelnut eyes behind impressive glasses, Jacques Borie became the most mediatised Chef in the archipelago. In Japan, he quickly became the reference. One day, as I was interviewing Alain Ducasse in Tokyo, he told me, with honesty : “I’m not going to copy what makes the success of L’Osier. In Japan, L’Osier is unique. There are no need of ten Jacques Borie. There is only one Jacques Borie”.

If 1986 was the turning point, thirty four years, the fact is : L’Osier simply became the best French Restaurant of Tokyo. The best destination for highly sophisticated French cuisine in Japan. 1999 was another important year for the restaurant, when its doors closed for eighteen months for a beautiful remodelling which was directed with talent by French architect Albert Abut. When L’Osier reopened, with its new touch of Art deco, mix of neo classic deco, modern art, splendid paintings, tapestries and Japanese tradition, it became, more than ever, a must. L’Osier’s Art deco comes from the 20th Century, when the vogue for Japanese art and culture was triumphing in Paris. The bronze panels from Yamagata and metallic joineries of the facade were added to wide stony blocks imported from France. L’Osier really became the destination of jet-setters and business executives (as Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn), movers, shakers, stars, actors, actresses, talentos or politicians ? as the former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who once said : - “No doubt. L’Osier is my favourite French restaurant”. In the Michelin Guide Tokyo 2008, L’Osier was described as a “worth a special journey” and earned the highest rating of three stars. The Louis Vuitton City Guide Tokyo 2009 described the spot as “the best French restaurant in town”.

It’s easy to understand why. L’Osier’s menus are known for their creativity and attention to rare details and dishes that are very complex, vivid and gorgeously presented, with amazing architecturally plated dishes. Slices of potato dotted with an iris of black squid ink and coral-hued sea urchin, smoked herring mousse punctuated with sprigs of dill and precise morsels of onion and lemon zest, oysters in frost jelly of sea water, tart of tomatoes and tuna, bar in dregs of wine, foliated of sea urchin… For years, L’Osier served miracles. “It was always so ! L’Osier can’t negociate on quality” tells Jacques Borie. Another precious moment of L’Osier’s recent past occurred in 2005, when another popular Chef, Bruno Menard, joined L’Osier, and proposed for many years lots of varieties of French cuisine, attractive features and greatest delights. Such combinations as the Breton lobster with its tomato-vanilla chutney nuances, or the creamy risotto with bamboo shoots and black truffles. Or fresh in-seasons must from France and Japan : takenoko (bamboo shoots), soramame (local beans), nijimasu (rainbow trouts), shiso herbs or yuzu citrus...

At L’Osier, the art of the cuisine had been always associated with the word “terroir” ? the charm of the cuisine came always with respect for the soil. And of course, with a unique selection of wines from Bordeaux and the New World.

L’Osier is a mystery. It is the only restaurant, worldwide, where forty-five highly trained staff can serve the forty people every night, taking a great care of each.

My life with L’OsierJacques Borie (L’Osier Project Supervisor)

Here I would like to look back on the past and tell you how L’Osier has influenced my life.

When I was little, my family lived in a village named Lonzac, between the Perigord and the Correze. My father worked in a factory. I began working in a restaurant in the village.

Soon I was assisting the Chef Rene Bachelin, and later the Chef Raymond Oliver at the Grand Vefour. Then in 1971, the Chef Jean Delaveyne, my master, sent me to work in Tokyo.

I think he ignored the fact that I might never return home.

In Tokyo, I began working at the restaurant Chardonnay, then at Hotel Okura, where I organized gastronomic weeks with any of my friends Jean Delaveyne, Paul Bocuse, Alain Chapel and Joel Robuchon. At L’Osier, we treat every customer like a king. It has always been essential to know how to respond to the many different requirements of customers, and at L’Osier, this will be always be the case.I was not very inspired by methods from Japan or Japanese tastes. Having been L’Osier’s chef for many years, I have tried to cultivate my identity and offer it to our customers. I have mixed classicism and modernity with passion.Japan has become my second home after spending more than thirty years here.With my Japanese friends, after all these long years, I really feel at home in Japan and in Ginza. L’Osier has become a respected name; a great name in fact, and a symbol of France and a symbol of quality. I have been very proud to reign over L’Osier for so many years.

Jacques was born in 1946 in Perigord, France. After working in the kitchens of high-profile restaurants such as Le Grand Vefour and Hotel de Crillon, Paris, Jacques moved to Japan. He had worked at L’Osier as the executive chef for 19 years since beginning 1986 and is now the supervisor of the L’Osier renovation project.