Born and raised in Saitama, Japan, Nobu served a rigorous apprenticeship at a respected sushi bar in Tokyo. It was not long before his dreams of seeing the world moved him to open a sushi bar in Peru. A classically trained sushi-chef, Nobu was challenged by the new culture and regional ingredients, which kindled his inventive style, known today as Nobu Style. After three years in Peru, Nobu moved to Argentina, then home to Japan, then on to Alaska, before finally settling in Los Angeles. Nobu opened his first restaurant in the United States, Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills, California, in January 1987. 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 actor and director Robert De Niro began. It was at De Niro’s urging that together they opened the very first Nobu in New York City in 1994 with restaurateur Drew Nieporent. Like Matsuhisa, Nobu was an instant hit.
With such a magnificent collection of restaurants, it is no wonder that Nobu’s restaurants have been so widely honored. Notable citations bestowed upon Nobu’s restaurants start with Matsuhisa chosen as one of the Top Ten Restaurant Destinations in the world by the New York Times (1993); Nobu awarded Best New Restaurant by the James Beard Foundation (1995) and Three Stars by Ruth Reichl of the New York Times (1995); Nobu Next Door awarded Three Stars by Ruth Reichl of the New York Times (1998); Nobu London awarded One Michelin Star (1997); Nobu Fifty Seven awarded Three Stars by Frank Bruni of the New York Times (2005); Nobu Berkeley St. awarded One Michelin Star (2005); Matsuhisa Beverly Hills and Nobu Las Vegas awarded One Michelin Stars (2007); Nobu San Diego awarded One Michelin Star (2008).
Some of Nobu’s personal honors from the culinary community include America’s 10 Best New Chefs by Food and Wine Magazine (1989), Southern California’s Rising Stars by Los Angeles Times Magazine (1998), induction into Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America by the James Beard Foundation (2002), nomination for Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation (1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006), and One of the 11 Most Influential Chefs of the Decade by Madrid Fusion (2009).
Nobu currently has 32 restaurants in 28 different cities around the world, spanning across five continents.More posts from April 2015