I have been cooking since I was a child, and used to help out in my father’s Japanese Restaurant in Tokyo, where I grew up. As soon as I finished university, I went to Italy to learn the language and the food and spent time cooking in Tuscany, Sardinia and Sorrento, where I worked at the 2 Michelin-starred Don Alfonso 1890.
After coming to London, I worked with Gordon Ramsay, at his 3 Michelin star restaurant in Chelsea where I learned to cook at the very highest standard. This was followed by a 3 years stint with one of London’s most successful restaurant groups, Rex Restaurants who opened a stylish Mediterranean restaurant in Regent St, where I worked with Francesco Mazzei. My next challenge was opening Tempo in Mayfair, a successful restaurant which I launched with the owner, Henry Togna, and as well gaining excellent reviews and 2 AA rosettes, it was also in my last few months at Tempo that I won the World Pasta Championship 2012 at Academia Barilla in Parma, Italy. 3 years ago, I moved to Tokyo and worked with Tysons & Co (one of Tokyo’s most successful restaurants companies) as Executive head chef, running three of the kitchens in their biggest grossing restaurants.
In my spare time I enjoy cooking with family, running around Komazawa Park and then enjoying well-earned meals in restaurants around Tokyo. During holidays we like to travel to the West of Ireland (where my wife Nora comes from) to enjoy amazing North-Atlantic seafood; the lobsters are the best I’ve ever tasted! We love to go to Umbria for the pork, the truffles, the olive oil and the beautiful Italian summers and we also love to travel around Japan. We have 3 daughters: Mia, Hana and our new baby Leila, who’s 10 months old.
I’m going to be working in Hong Kong for the first time at the end of this year, but I’m looking forward to traveling to Vietnam in the near future – I have heard so much about the incredible food. I want to introduce my daughters to as many great Asian cuisines as I can while we’re here!
My other great passion is wine, not only Italian but New World wine, UK wine and there are some really decent Japanese wines emerging too. Few things are lovelier than a nice glass of wine with a plate of pasta al fresco on our roof terrace!
Chef Yoshi Yamada has a fine grasp of flavour. His seafood stew demonstrated this admirable talent still further; prawns, mussels, pollock and clams luxuriated in a rust-coloured, deeply flavoured broth. Again, seasoning was pitch-perfect. Mayfair is very lucky to have him.
Financial Times, February 2011
I am now setting up my own consultancy, offering expertise in concept and menu development, kitchen design staff training and events.
- Born in Japan
- Speak English, Italian and Japanese
- Japanese Chef’s licence
- ICMC (Italian Cuisine Master Chef Award from Academia Barilla) 9 June 2011
- World Pasta Champion, Academia Barilla, 16 June 2012
- Own pasta recipe book published, Oct 2013
- Currently establishing my Italian food consulting business Yoshi Yamada Consultancy
- Tysons & Company, Tokyo, Japan – Executive Chef – Feb 13 to Aug 15
- Tempo, Mayfair, London – Head Chef/Executive Chef – Mar 10 to Jun 12
- St Alban, Piccadilly, London – Sous chef – Nov 06 to Dec 09
- Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Chelsea, London – Chef de Partie – Mar 05 to Oct 06
- L’Atelier de Robuchon, Roppongi, Tokyo – Chef de Partie – Jan 05 to March 05
- Don Alfonso 1890, Sorrento, Naples – Junior Sous Chef – Feb 04 to Jan 05
- Restaurant Applause, Shinjuku, Tokyo – Chef de Partie – Sep 02 to Feb 04
- Entro Fuori Bordo, Cannigione, Sardinia – Sous Chef – March to Sep 01 & 02
- Mamma Rosa, Florence – Demi Chef – Sep 01 to March 02