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March 10, 1949
Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa (松久 信幸 Matsuhisa Nobuyuki; born March 10, 1949) is a Japanese celebrity chef and restaurateur known for his fusion cuisine blending traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients. His signature dish is black cod in miso. He has eponymous restaurants in a number of countries.
Nobu was born in Saitama, Japan. When he was only seven years old, his father died in a traffic accident, and he and his two older brothers were raised by his mother. After graduating from high school, he worked at the restaurant Matsue Sushi in Shinjuku, Tokyo, for seven years and was invited by a regular customer, who was a Peruvian of Japanese descent, to open a Japanese restaurant in Peru. In 1973 at age 24, he moved to Lima, Peru and opened a restaurant with the same name of Matsue in partnership with his sponsor. Nobu was unable to find many of the ingredients he took for granted in Japan and had to improvise, and it was here that he developed his unique style of cuisine that incorporated Peruvian ingredients into Japanese dishes.
In 1977, he moved to Los Angeles and worked at Japanese restaurants "Mitsuwa" and "Oshou." In 1987, he opened his own restaurant "Matsuhisa" on La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California. The restaurant quickly became a hot spot and was frequented by Hollywood celebrities, including Robert De Niro, who invited Nobu to set up a restaurant in Tribeca, New York City. In August 1993, the two opened up in partnership NOBU to critical[clarification needed] acclaim. Nobu restaurants were later opened in Milan, London, Qatar, Greece, Dallas, Tokyo, Honolulu, Moscow, Dubai, Mexico City, Budapest, and Hong Kong.
Nobu's friendship with Robert De Niro landed him a role in the 1995 Martin Scorsese film Casino, as a wealthy businessman who was a guest at De Niro's casino. He also had small roles in Austin Powers: Goldmember, as well as Memoirs of a Geisha, in which he played a kimono artist.
The Matsuhisa Restaurants (in Beverly Hills, Aspen, Athens, Mykonos and Munich (München)) are privately owned by the Matsuhisa family, while the Nobu Restaurants are co-owned by Nobu, Robert De Niro, Meir Teper, Drew Nieporent, and managing partner Richie Notar.
Nobu restaurants sell Atlantic bluefin tuna, an endangered species. As a result, from press and campaigning pressure, they offered to add a warning on their menu, but this was considered inadequate by conservationists to help the spiral of demand and market price that leads to overfishing.
- Nobu West. 2007. ISBN 978-0-7407-6547-6.
- Nobu: The Cookbook. 2001. ISBN 4-7700-2533-5.
- Nobu Now. 2005. ISBN 0-307-23673-0.
- Nobu Miami: The Party Cookbook. 2008. ISBN 978-4-7700-3080-1.
- Michael O'Connell (2 June 2017). "Nobu's Matsuhisa Turns 30: An Oral History of the Sushi Restaurant Where Tom Cruise Couldn't Get In". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
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- "Failure to act will push bluefin tuna fishery to extinction". Iucn.org. November 26, 2008. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
- "The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas". Iccat.int. November 9, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
- "Greenpeace Article on Nobu". Greenpeace.org.uk. April 12, 2011. Archived from the original on January 15, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
- Clover, Charles (September 6, 2008). "Robert De Niro's restaurant chain sells endangered tuna". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
- Hickman, Martin (May 27, 2009). "Bluefin tuna – with a guilt trip thrown in". The Independent. UK. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
- "Nobu The Cookbook , Kodansha International". Kodansha-intl.com. July 19, 2001. Archived from the original on August 15, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
- "NOBU Miami , Kodansha International". Kodansha-intl.com. November 1, 2008. Archived from the original on August 15, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2011.