Tetsuya Wakuda, Australia’s premier chef, has been recognised by his peers throughout Asia and the world, for his lifelong contribution to the world of gastronomy and has been awarded the Diners Club Lifetime Achievement award- Asia 2015 at the San Pellegrino Asia's 50 Best Restaurant Awards.
Born and raised in Japan, Tetsuya arrived in Australia in 1982 at the age of 22 with a limited knowledge of English and nothing more than a small suitcase. He also brought with him an obsessive interest in food and a quiet determination to open his own restaurant.
Securing his first job as a junior kitchen hand, it was only a year before Tetsuya became a chef at Kinselas, under chef Tony Bilson, in Sydney. It was here that Tetsuya learned the classical French techniques thus forming his now renowned style of cooking - blending the purity of his native Japanese food culture with the techniques and style of classic French cuisine. "My aim was only ever to get a good job doing what I loved", explains Tetsuya, "I never had a grand master plan and I am quite humbled by this award. Like most chefs I only ever wanted to cook my own food, in my own way and I am thankful that people continue to enjoy that. Everyone in this industry knows that no one chef stands alone and I have been very lucky to have always had such a great team of people working with me". In 1989, after 6 years in a joint partnership in restaurant Ultimo’s, Tetsuya finally realised his dream and opened Tetsuya’s, his eponymous Sydney restaurant. After an incredible 26 years the award-winning establishment is still as popular as ever. Loved and respected by Sydneyites, Tetsuya's is recognised as an Australian classic by its constant stream of international food lovers.
In 2006 Tetsuya Wakuda was honoured as the first Sake ambassador outside of Japan, and in 2013 was acknowledged by the Japanese Government and awarded the esteemed ‘Japan’s Master of Cuisine’, the first ever internationally based chef to do so. The chef’s great love affair with Tasmania resulted in a formal role bestowed in 2003 as International Food and Beverage Ambassador. In addition to his ambassadorial role Tetsuya has personally financed and supported small producers on the island, creating new businesses in the food and beverage sector. He also actively supports local Tasmanian artists and craftsmen.
Tetsuya’s has won a plethora of highly esteemed awards and has featured as a regular in San Pellegrino's Worlds 50 Best Restaurant Awards, since the list’s inception in 2002. In 2010, Tetsuya Wakuda embarked upon a new culinary adventure with Waku Ghin, which he opened in The Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore. The restaurant demonstrates the continuing evolution of Tetsuya’s unique culinary style and has enjoyed many remarkable accolades, including the restaurant’s own rightful position in the top 50 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list (currently number 9in Asia).
This remarkable chef has quietly gained global respect from his peers all over the world, for his dedication and commitment to the hospitality industry. Chefs that have gone through his kitchen, and front of house staff that have delivered to his exacting standards, populate some of the most celebrated restaurants in the world.