Nobu Matsuhisa

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Nobuyuki Matsuhisa
Born (1949-03-10) March 10, 1949 (age 73)
Saitama, Japan
Culinary career
Cooking styleJapanese
Current restaurant(s)

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 restaurants bearing his name in several countries. He has also played small parts in three major films.


Nobu was born in Saitama, Japan. When he was eight years old, his father died in a traffic crash, and he and his two older brothers were raised by his mother.[1] Immediately following the death of his father, Nobu began to travel the world. Over the next decade, while being raised by his mother, Nobu Matsuhisa experienced many cultures and witnessed first hand the reaches of poverty and hunger. His experience influenced his efforts later in life to give back to communities through his business ventures. [2]

After graduating from high school, with fifteen years, he began working as a dishwasher at the restaurant Matsue Sushi in Shinjuku, Tokyo.[3] It was in the same restaurant, where he was trained as a Sushi master.[3] After seven years, he 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.[3] But after three years, the restaurant had to close.[3] After a short stay in Argentina, where he tried to open a new restaurant, he eventually moved to Anchorage, Alaska, and opened his own restaurant there.[3] About two weeks after the grand opening there was an electrical fire and the restaurant burned down.[4]

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 Los Angeles, California.[5] It was in the Matsuhisa he came to know Robert De Niro, who encouraged him to open a restaurant in New York.[6] By 1994, he laid the foundation to a new restaurant chain, as he opened the first "Nobu" in Tribeca, New York[2] in a joint venture between Robert De Niro, Drew Nieporent, Meir Teper and himself.[6] In 1995 he received the James Beard Foundation Award and was nominated for it several times in the following years.[7]


Nobu has had small roles in three major films: in Casino (1995) alongside his business partner Robert De Niro, in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), and in Memoirs of a Geisha (2005).[8][9]


As of March 2021, there are at least 15 Nobu hotels, including locations in Chicago, Ibiza, Las Vegas, two in London, Los Cabos, Malibu, Manila, Marbella, Miami Beach, Palo Alto, Warsaw, Perth, Australia, Doha and Barcelona.[10][11]


Nobu restaurants sell Atlantic bluefin tuna, formerly an endangered species.[12][13] 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.[14][15][16]


  • Matsuhisa, Nobu; Edwards, Mark (2007). Nobu West. ISBN 978-0-7407-6547-6.
  • Matsuhisa, Nobuyuki; Niro, Robert De (2001). Nobu: The Cookbook. ISBN 4-7700-2533-5.[17]
  • Matsuhisa, Nobuyuki (2005). Nobu Now. ISBN 0-307-23673-0.
  • 松久信幸; Matsuhisa, Nobu; Buckley, Thomas (2008). Nobu Miami: The Party Cookbook. ISBN 978-4-7700-3080-1.[18]
  • Matsuhisa, Nobu (2012). Nobu's Vegetarian Cookbook. ISBN 978-4-89444-9053.
  • Matsuhisa, Nobuyuki (2019). World of Nobu. ISBN 978-4-7562-5147-3.
  • Matsuhisa, Nobu (2014). Nobu: A Memoir. ISBN 978-1-5011-2279-8.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lankarani, Nazanin (June 5, 2016). "A Family Model With the Chef as Father Figure (Published 2016)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Paige Mastrandrea (February 21, 2018). "Chef Nobu Matsuhisa On His Expanding Empire And How He's Cementing His Legacy". Haute Living. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e Bassewitz, Corinna von. "Nobuyuki Matsuhisa: King of Sushi - Falstaff". (in Swiss High German). Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  4. ^ Nobu's Matsuhisa Turns 30: An Oral History of the Sushi Restaurant Where Tom Cruise Couldn't Get In Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter, June 2, 2017
  5. ^ Michael O'Connell (June 2, 2017). "Nobu's Matsuhisa Turns 30: An Oral History of the Sushi Restaurant Where Tom Cruise Couldn't Get In". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Matsuhisa, Nobu (November 13, 2017). "How Robert De Niro Convinced Nobu to Build a Restaurant Empire". Eater. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  7. ^ Squires, Kathleen (September 17, 2014). "10 Great Moments in the History of Nobu". Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  8. ^ "Japan's culinary king takes on the world". CNN. March 8, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  9. ^ "Nobu Matsuhisa Filmography". British Film Institute. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  10. ^ Lo, Andrea (September 28, 2018). "Behind Robert de Niro's Nobu empire". CNN.
  11. ^ Murray, Mike. "Our Nobu Hotel Destinations | Nobu Hotels". Nobu Hotels - Corporate. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  12. ^ "Failure to act will push bluefin tuna fishery to extinction". November 26, 2008. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  13. ^ "The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas". November 9, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  14. ^ "Greenpeace Article on Nobu". April 12, 2011. Archived from the original on January 15, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  15. ^ Clover, Charles (September 6, 2008). "Robert De Niro's restaurant chain sells endangered tuna". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Archived from the original on December 2, 2008. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  16. ^ Hickman, Martin (May 27, 2009). "Bluefin tuna – with a guilt trip thrown in". The Independent. UK. Archived from the original on June 21, 2022. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  17. ^ "Nobu The Cookbook , Kodansha International". July 19, 2001. Archived from the original on August 15, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
  18. ^ "NOBU Miami , Kodansha International". November 1, 2008. Archived from the original on August 15, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2011.

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