Executive Chef Takashi Ito
What was your first job in hospitality? An apprenticeship in a French restaurant in Sendai Japan. I was the oldest apprentice because I had graduated from law school first. I knew I had to work the hardest to catch up to the others.
Being the oldest worked out better for me. I was the only one who had a driver’s license. So besides my regular shift, I drove the executive chef, to the fish market at 5:00 am, learning what to look for etc., then prepared his cooking class ingredients, drove him to a local cooking class, watched his class, then started my shift .
What inspires you most in your job? Watching my team members grow. Inspire me to do it better for them.
What is a work habit that you take home with you? After almost 40 years, my work habit are my life habits. Research, organization, openness.
What is your most memorable food or wine experience? Food, so many occasions. I made food for the Queen’s visit in Ottawa, the G8 summit in Alberta, Bill Gates on Canadian Pacific dining car, and for the Japanese princess in Aura's private dining room.