bal harbour blog

Make Mine Makoto

Q&A
Chef Makoto Okuwa.

By Tali Jaffe

It’s not surprising that the food emerging from Makoto’s kitchen is prepared by a seasoned chef. After all, each dish is flawless in flavor and execution and more splendid than the last. But what may surprise even the most jaded foodie is to know that Chef Makoto Okuwa took on his first hand roll at the tender age of three. In the time since, Chef Makoto has worked under some of the most revered names in Japanese cuisine, including Sushi Master Chef Shinichi Takegasa, Sushi Master Makoto Kumazak and Iron Chef Morimoto.

On the occasion of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, Chef Makoto hosted a fashionable feast at his restaurant where we discussed his favorite ingredients to work with, life lessons and what he’ll never travel without. View photos from the luncheon here.

What was the hardest technique for you to learn as a young chef?
How to cut corners without sacrificing the quality of the food! It’s so difficult and very important to learn how to when you’re young. That needs to be second nature in the kitchen!!

Who influenced you the most?
I have to say Chef Morimoto and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.

What is your favorite ingredient to work with?
Shiso Leaf.

What was the last best meal you had?
Tasting menu at NARISAWA in Tokyo.
 
What is the most exotic ingredient you've used?
Huitlacoche.
 
What is your favorite spice or sauce that you add to your dishes?
Soy sauce.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve traveled to?
Mexico City.

What's the best hotel you've stayed at?
Ritz-Carlton.

What’s the greatest difference between living in Miami versus New York?
Less stress.

What do you always travel with?
Gym clothes.
 
What is your most prized possession?
Knife that Chef Morimoto used for his first battle in Japan for Iron Chef Japan.
 
What are your favorite websites and/or blogs?
Kevin Eats.
 
Who do you follow on Instagram?
I just started, so I’m following only few people.

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