Chef and restauranteur Chase Kojima has been making headlines in Australia since opening his own restaurant Sokyo at The Star in Sydney. Born and raised in San Francisco, Kojima grew up working at the family kitchen that served up traditional Japanese food. All before hitting 30, he has also headed up kitchens of the Nobu restaurant group in Las Vegas, Dubai, London, and LA.
Who is your inspiration?
My father, Sachio Kojima. At 26 years old he opened his first restaurant, the renowned Kabuto Sushi Restaurant in San Francisco, California. It was only a few months after I was born in 1982. I set myself the goal of opening my first restaurant at a similar age and then opened Sokyo when I was 29 years old.
What’s currently in your pantry?
White soy. I use it on everything from salads to sashimi and sometimes even on dessert to add umami flavour.
What’s in your fridge?
Asparagus, alcohol-free beer, and miso. I love eating vegetables, drinking light drinks, and I always have miso so that I can sauté sauces quickly and easily or make warm soups.
Best thing to come out of the microwave
Definitely frozen yumepirika rice. It comes out just like freshly cooked rice. A tip is to freeze your freshly cooked rice with cling-wrap right away to ensure it stays fresh and fluffy.
What did you last eat?
Miso soup and steamed rice topped with fermented soy beans ‘natto’ and raw egg yolk. It’s my favourite staple dish and I eat it pretty much every day.
Where do you like to go out to eat?
In Sydney some of my favourite restaurants are LuMi Bar and Dining, Mr. Wong’s, Burger Project, and Aqua S for dessert.
When I’m not cooking, I’m…
Playing with my super energetic kids and making the most of much-needed family time.
Butter, margarine, a mix or neither?
Both! Butter for cooking and margarine on Japanese white toast.
Kitchen tools I can’t live without
A good cutting board and a super sharp knife, or my hands!
Cookbooks I always return to
The French Laundry by Thomas Keller, and also Instagram which I think of as my ‘live’ cookbook.