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Kiichi Okabe Joins Soneva Jani as Grand Masterchef

July 3, 2019 Appointments / Movers & Shakers No Comments Email Email

Soneva, the world-leading luxury resort operator, announces that Soneva Jani has recently hired Chef Kiichi Okabe, a Japanese chef, in the role of Grand Masterchef. Before joining Soneva Jani full time, Chef Okabe was the Executive Chef of Shoukouwa, which earned two Michelin stars in 2016. He also spent time as Okku’s Head Chef, in Dubai. Later in 2018, Chef Okabe opened Sushi Ryu in Kuala Lumpur, which he also owns.

Chef Okabe currently hosts private dining experiences at So Imaginative, the private celebration room at Soneva Jani for 20 people, where his menu fuses Japanese delicacies with Maldivian ingredients. Diners can expect dishes like baked Indian Ocean tooth fish marinated in Saikyo miso from Kyoto, Japan and raw shrimp from Hokkaido with yuzu flavoured seaweed and Soneva caviar.

Chef Kiichi Okabe’s career started in Ebisu, Tokyo, and while learning from the best he perfected his skills in Japanese and international cuisine. His first ever job was at 18, where he started as a chef in a kaiseki restaurant, where he worked at night, while in the day he was a sports trainer. Okabe then moved to Los Angeles to work in a three Michelin-starred French restaurant, before moving on to work in Las Vegas at Sushi Roku where he was the Executive Head Sushi Chef.

Okabe went on to Dubai as the Head Chef at Okku, which was named the ‘Best Japanese Restaurant in Dubai’ three years running. After this he moved back to the United States to work at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino as Kuro’s Executive Sushi Chef. From there he took up the role of Executive Chef of Shoukouwa, a two-starred Japanese restaurant in Singapore that features a menu from Sapporo. At Shoukouwa, fresh fish, seafood and produce are flown in daily to Singapore from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market. In 2018, Chef Okabe opened Sushi Ryu in Kuala Lumpur, which he also owns. His dishes are crafted using seasonal produce from Japan and premium ingredients like caviar, uni and truffles to capture the exquisite flavours of his native cuisine.

Chef Okabe is known for being a sushi mastermind bursting with personality and culinary talent, as well as a passion not just for Japanese food – any food and all that goes with it. After he ended his time at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, he went back to Japan to further hone his culinary skills as well as take part in cutting-edge food research. Chef Okabe firmly believes in the Japanese philosophy of Omotenashi, which means to wholeheartedly look after one’s guests. He believes that food made with happiness makes his customers happy, improves their wellbeing and fills them with good energy.

The price for Chef Okabe’s set menu at So Imaginative is USD 350++ per person.

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