senior sous chef - Kazu
Japanese-born Kazu Matsumoto first started cooking at home with his mum, learning basic Japanese and traditional family food. He subsequently trained at the renowned Tsuji Cooking School and refined his skills at the Hilton Fukuoka. Kazu is equally comfortable with French, Italian and Japanese cuisine. He worked at traditional Japanese restaurant Awabi Tei in Fukuoka and, after arriving in Sydney, Yamota Teppanyaki and later Becasse.
Since 2003 Kazu has been an integral part of the kitchen team at Aria. He thinks of himself as a traditional chef. “I cook by instinct, feeling and intuition. I have trust in my experience and knowledge, however I cannot live without a timer.”
His favourite dish on Aria’s current spring menu is mud crab, kohlrabi, wild garlic, salted cream. “I love the visual simplicity of this dish, it is only white and green. It has many layers and various textural components: refreshing, creamy and punchy at the same time.”
You can take the chef out of Japan but you can’t take the Japan out of the chef. When asked about his desert island meal, Kazu is unequivocal. “I would have two meals, both of my mum's food: chawanmushi (dashi egg custard) and chirashizushi (scattered sushi).”
And his greatest kitchen inspiration?
“Every successive head chef at Aria has inspired me. Through their different nationalities and culture, they individually showcase their cooking skills, technique and knowledge.”