Yuu Shimano

I’m from Japan and always dreamed of traveling abroad when I was younger. When I turned 18, I found a culinary school brochure offering overseas training opportunities. I was thrilled and decided to apply to the Tsuji Culinary Institute because of my passion for cooking. I excelled as a top student and even got the chance to study in France. After graduating, I landed my first professional kitchen job at La Villa des Lys in Cannes, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant. I was eager to specialize in classic French cuisine, so I spent seven years on a culinary journey in France.

At 30, I secured a saucier position at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant Guy Savoy. I learned what it means to work at one of the world’s best restaurants there. I felt motivated daily, from dedication to kitchen work to pride in being a chef. After three years, I got offered a chef position at Mifune, a Japanese-French fusion restaurant in NY. I worked there as an executive chef for five years. The company handled the operation and concept. I wanted more creative control, so I recruited my own team to create our unique style, blending Japanese identity into French cuisine.

In 2022, I opened Restaurant Yuu @restaurant_yuunyc and achieved a Michelin star within six months, a source of great pride. Being a Japanese chef specializing in traditional French cuisine in New York City has been challenging. Still, the city’s diverse appreciation for cultures has allowed me to share my message globally. As a child, I wouldn’t say I liked vegetables, but my mom, a great cook, always deliciously prepared them. She frequently made pumpkin soup stewed with other vegetables, which was how I got my vegetables in.

As a chef, I now include it as a welcoming soup in my menu. It warms guests upon arrival and promotes sustainability by utilizing all parts of the vegetables from our other courses. Our restaurant focuses on classic French cooking while incorporating Japanese hospitality and a deep respect for ingredients. My goal is simple: to make our guests happy and earn respect as a chef.

What is your favorite street food?


Which restaurant or food stand do you recommend? (Different from yours) (Add its Instagram handle if possible)

Blue Hill at Stone Barn

What is your guilty pleasure?


What ingredient do you find overrated?


What ingredient do you think is underrated?

Japanese Rice

What is your favorite kitchen tool?

Korin Knife

What is your worst kitchen nightmare?

My team and I making the same mistake on a second time. When guests are not satisfied.

Photo 📷 by @jordansapally