Chef in the City | Setsuo Tateuchi

Executive Chef at Akiya Sushi, Setsuo Tateuchi, hails from Hokkaido Island in Japan and grew up in his father’s French restaurant.

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Date 27 February 2020
Author Tatum Sieni
Contact Email akiyasushi@hotmail.com
Contact Telephone +27 21 110 5747
URL Akiya Sushi

Executive Chef at Akiya Sushi, Setsuo Tateuchi, hails from Hokkaido Island in Japan and grew up in his father’s French restaurant.  From a young age, he was surrounded and influenced by culinary excellence and it was a natural progression for him to follow in his father’s footsteps to become a chef too.  With his father’s encouragement, he was taught the ropes across  a variety of specialist Japanese cuisine as well as French cuisine.  In 1986, at the age of 24, he came to South Africa with a group of young chefs through the Southern Sun Group for about six years.  After a stint back in Japan, Chef Michael joined Southern Sun again in Durban and then went through to Johannesburg.  His name is connected to the conceptualisation of several top restaurants – Haiku, Monk, Saigon and Willoughby & Co.  He joined Akiya Sushi a year ago.


1. You followed in your father’s footsteps. What are some of the early learnings that have been valuable to your career?


In Japan, each type of cuisine is a speciality.  If you want to learn how to do the best Kaiseki, you study at one restaurant, if you want to learn how to do the best tempura, you study at another.  I was very fortunate that I had my father to guide me and also teach me what he knew in terms of French cuisine.  I grew up with a love for original, delicious food and that is what I aim to create.


2. What type of food do you enjoy and what are your core principles for creating dishes?


I believe in using the freshest, best ingredients.  I love authentic, simple food that are made with quality ingredients.  The flavours of a dish must not compete with each other. I quite like spicy food, specifically Korean, but I prefer to buy the best ingredients from the suppliers I know best and prepare my own.


The Western palette is very different from that of the Japanese, which is quite simple with a leaning towards minimalism.  The complexity of course, is in the preparation.  The aesthetic of beautiful presentation and the use of fresh, high-quality seasonal ingredients is the reason for the growing popularity of Japanese cuisine.


Akiya Sushi is a Japanese style cuisine restaurant.  Based on Sushi, they also offer Dim Sum and Chinese dishes. Their sit-down restaurant can be found on ground floor of the Axis apartment building in the Bridgeways Precinct.  They also have a take-away outlet in Century Village, situated opposite Curro Century City on Century Way.  You can visit their website https://www.akiyasushi.com/ for more info or call the restaurant on 021 110 5747 between 10:00 and 21:00 or for take-aways between 10:30 and 21:30, contact them on 0635536016.