Chef Matsumoto Masters Japanese Haute Cuisine

Chef, Consul General of Japan’s Official Residence

Chef Shota Matsumoto arrived in the United States for the first time when he secured the role of official chef to Japanese Consul General of Miami Kazuhiro Nakai. Previously, Matsumoto had gone to culinary school in Japan and then worked in restaurants in Kyoto and Osaka specializing in washoku (traditional Japanese food). Today, the 32-year-old spends his days preparing intricate meals for the consul and his guests and studying English. He’s always experimenting with new cuisines, like yoshoku, a Westernized take on Japanese food that was popularized in Japan after World War II. (Think katsus and deep-fried oysters.)

Chef Matsumoto

Latest Achievement

Matsumoto became the official chef for the consul general of Japan just over two years ago, but he first had to pass a cooking test. After tasting his four-course test meal, Consul Nakai gave Matsumoto the proverbial gold star. Now, the chef spends his days preparing meals not only for the consul, but also for visiting dignitaries and diplomats.

He often prepares multi-course menus for large parties that take into account everything from dietary restrictions to simple preferences. His specialty is kaiseki, traditional Japanese haute cuisine.

What He Says

“I became a chef because I love to eat,” Matsumoto says. “By learning the craft, I’m able to experience the world through cuisine.” Asked what surprised him the most about Miami, the 10-year veteran chef replies, “I was most shocked at the difference in cuisine. And I was also surprised at the availability of tropical fruits, like mangoes being everywhere and Florida avocados being so big!” He likes to incorporate these elements into his dishes, like his agemono: salmon cutlets on papaya vinegar, drizzled with tartar sauce and topped with locally sourced micro coriander and Japanese pepper powder.

Read about other notable Gableites in our People section.