TRANSLATION | Eugenia Yang
由四位日本籍資深料理長共同領軍的「懷石」FUKUZAKI & TAKEDA、「壽司」HATORI、「鐵板燒」ABE ，三間精緻餐飲部門結合「純飲酒吧」提供多元選擇，不僅為商務和私人聚會打造獨有飲食體驗，更是業界鮮見的新穎營運模式。其靈感源自總經理葉子瑜的過往經驗，將整合部門資源的概念融入餐飲，而起步的首要難題便是讓團隊通透理解，「我相信對所有做創新的人來講，最困難的點就是你要如何跟其他人說明。」為了讓細枝末節臻於完美，他堅持每日親臨現場，期望透過日本空運來台的新鮮當旬食材，與旗下料理長的職人技術與心意，為饕客獻上融合傳統與現代的珍饈美饌。
道道如藝術品的雅緻佳餚，為懷石料理淋漓盡致的美感展現，可見於食材、器皿、擺盤之上，由前 CONRAD 東京「風花」& PARK HOTEL 東京「花山椒」副料理長福崎佑成，與西麻布低調名店「霞町301-1」料理長武田博司主掌，本為舊識的兩人，同樣懷著海外工作的憧憬，因緣下再次共事，也造就了秋日和日本料理部的巧妙誕生。提起專研懷石料理的緣由，兩人則給出了不同的答案，福崎佑成表示兒時受到父親與家族影響，從起初接觸天婦羅，爾後鍾情於懷石料理所追求的季節感，進而逐漸踏入此領域；武田博司透露早期懷石料理的分類並無如此精細，若簡單形容原因，身為一個日本人，便純粹想以和食作為出發點，擁有互補性格的兩人，料理台前的好默契一覽無遺。
Like roaming through the streets of Kyoto, the understated hallways and warm wooden interior instantly remind us of the clear blue sky on a breezy autumn day. It’s an image of nostalgia, a sign of good faith. From the secluded but relaxing environment, the itamae’s dedicated spirit, to bringing kaiseki, kappou and teppanyaki together as one exclusive feast, Akiko & Pierre is writing a new chapter for Japanese cuisines in Taiwan.
Innovative Dining Concept
Led by four experienced Japanese chefs de cuisine, the three fine dining—kaiseki by FUKUZAKI & TAKEDA, sushi by HATORI, teppanyaki by ABE—are combined with an in-house whiskey bar to offer a wide range of selections. Not only does it create a special dining experience for business and private purposes, but it also establishes itself as an innovative operation model. Inspired by past experiences, general manager Pierre Yeh decided to integrate the concept of departmentalizing resources into gastronomy. To start, his first challenge was to make sure the whole team understood what they were attempting to do. “To everyone who is trying to create something new, I believe the hardest part is trying to explain it.” In order to perfect every single detail, he persists on being on scene everyday. With the in-season ingredients freshly imported from Japan and the impeccable skills of the itamaes, Yeh aspires to bring delicacies of modernity and tradition to the table for his guests.
Finding the Ultimate Beauty
Through the hands of Fukuzaki Hironari, former sous chef of Kazahana at Conrad Tokyo, and Takeda Hiroshi, chef de cuisine of Kasumicho 301-1 in Nishiazabu, the beauty of kaiseki is flawlessly captured like precious artworks through the careful choice of ingredients, utensils and plating. Old acquaintances, the two chefs shared the same vision of working abroad and decided to build Akiko & Pierre’s kaiseki restaurant together. Influenced by his father and family, Fukuzaki started his culinary journey with tempura and changed his path because he was fascinated by the focus on seasonality in kaiseki. Meanwhile, Takeda says that he chose kaiseki simply because he wanted to return to the origin and set Japanese cuisine as his starting point. Complementing each other with their distinctive personalities, the pair shares a special bond that is manifested in front of the kitchen counter.
In comparison to Japanese dining culture, the two chefs point out two major differences when it comes to working in Taiwan. First, the way cooking is performed and second, the guest’s level of understanding. Takeda notices Taiwanese customers prefer grandeur plating and presentation that enhance the dining experience, while Fukuzaki is always mindful of allowing his guests to understand the use of ingredients easily and working out the best recipe for each dish. The pursuit of a perfect balance is aligned with general manager Yeh’s belief—hundred kinds of customer come with hundred kinds of service. With a strong emphasis on two-way communications, Yeh believes sharing an understanding with his customers is the key to building a good restaurant. Setting eyes on the future prospects of Akiko & Pierre, Chef Fukuzaki and Takeda are excited about the possibility to work with the sushi and teppanyaki departments. Laughing, they say it would be a great recognition to receive the Michelin award in the future. As we patiently wait for the good news, why not indulge in the heartfelt feast at Akiko & Pierre and enjoy the beauty of the clear rhizome.