Melbourne Personal Chef Hajime Horiguchi grew up in Kyoto, original capital of Japan, a city renowned for its refined traditional cuisine. His affinity with this time honoured art began at the early age of five when he would go to work with his father, a chef with his own restaurant in the old suburb of Kiyamachi.
As teenager Hajime’s spare time and holidays were spent in the kitchen. After graduating he began his formal training working at both his father’s restaurant at night and during the day the iconic Iduu (a traditional saba zushi restaurant established in 1781). Working day and night, then back at the fish markets by 5am the following day left little more than a few hours to sleep, a fitting rewards for the privilege of an apprenticeship in the competitive Kyoto restaurant industry.
In 2002 he took a year off, travelling Australia and fell in love with the beautiful produce, amazingly open people and unique way of life. Determined to make his way back, in 2007 he returned to Australia to take up the sous chef position at Wasabi Restaurant and Bar. Four years later he heads up a kitchen of young, creative and talented chefs dedicated to using the best quality, seasonally driven produce.
Since Hajime began to be head chef of Wasabi Restaurant, he awarded as two hats of Good food and wine guide, best regional restaurant, National Finalist of Electrolux Appetite for Exellence in 2013 and lots more.
Now, he moved to Melbourne to create classic Japanese cuisine using only the best and seasonable produce. We are pleased to have Hajime as a personal chef in Melbourne.