2 Michelin Star Chefs: Yoshinori Ishii, Umu

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 29th September 2017

Yoshinori Ishii is the executive chef of two Michelin-starred Umu.

With over 20 years’ experience Yoshinori Ishii’s food style has earned the chef acclaim throughout the industry including two stars in the Michelin Guide UK for the Japanese influenced restaurant Umu.

Yoshinori took on the role of executive chef of the Michelin starred Umu based in London’s Mayfair in 2010 replacing Ichiro Kubota who had been with the restaurant since 2004 and had helped earn the establishment its first star in 2005.



14-16 Bruton Pl, Mayfair, London W1J 6LX

Opening hours: Lunch - Monday to Saturday 12pm to 2:30pm

Dinner - Monday to Saturday 6pm to 11pm

Closed Sundays
Phone: 020 7499 8881
Reservations: opentable.co.uk

Instagram: @umurestaurant

Twitter: @UmuRestaurant

Biography and career to date

After leaving school in 1989 Yoshinori attended Tsuji culinary school where he learned Japanese kaiseki, as well as Chinese, French, and Italian food.

Yoshinori Ishii
Yoshinori Ishii

After this he spent nine years at the three Michelin-starred Kyoto Kitcho in Japan heading up the sashimi section. It was here the chef learned other skills such as how to pickle, calligraphy and make flower arrangements for the restaurant.

In 1999 Yoshinori left to become head chef at the Japanese Embassy for the United Nations in Geneva and New York before joining Morimoto restaurant, also in New York as Omakase chef.

It was here that Yoshinori earned himself the title of ‘Rising Star Chef’ and became a finalist for the Vilcek prize for culinary arts.

What the guides say...


Michelin stars

AA Restaurant Guide

three rosette logo


umu hardens

Whilst still at Morimoto Yoshinori decided he wanted a restaurant that allowed him to incorporate his own style of Japanese cooking influenced from his time spent in Japan to the time spent cooking in other restaurants across the globe. So in 2010 the chef replaced Ichiro Kubota as executive chef of Umu where he remains today.

Umu Food style

At Umu, Yoshinori uses fresh ingredients that come from local, British producers and suppliers as well as traditional Japanese produce to create a modern twist on his Kyoto-inspired kaiseki menu which is based around the core elements of water, vegetables and fish.

Other accolades

As well as being a chef Yoshinori is also a Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador. In 2012 he cooked for politicians and world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Yoshinori is also a skilled fisherman, potter and calligrapher (skills learnt from his time at Kyoto Kitcho in Japan).

In 2013 Yoshinori entered the Robb Report’s Culinary Masters Competition in Los Angeles.

Videos by Yoshinori Ishii: 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 29th September 2017

2 Michelin Star Chefs: Yoshinori Ishii, Umu