Chef Atsushi Tanaka
The recent reopening of Atsushi Tanaka's restaurant in the heart of Paris’ Latin Quarter features new works of Danish-inspired wooden furniture evoking a Nordic atmosphere. The renovation of the restaurant, situated on rue Cardinal Lemoine, was entrusted to the Parisian architecture workshop OVO with the furniture being designed and produced by the Norwegian duo Sarg&Bein. The tableware, a centrepiece of the chef's work, is the fruit of collaborations between Tanaka and various ceramists, designers, and artists. The Swedish Ann Sofie Gelfius, the Danish Gurli Elbaekgaard and the German Sinikka Harms have all created a number of the plates, dishes, cups, and bowls which contribute to the restaurant’s very specific universe.
The Franco-Japanese chef continues to simultaneously entice and challenge Parisian palettes with the progressive, artistic, and dynamic cuisine that is served at Restaurant A.T.
Atsushi Tanaka's cuisine is not Japanese. Neither is it Spanish, nor Scandinavian, nor Parisian—although he spent a large part of his life developing and perfecting his art in these different regions. His cuisine is strongly influenced by many European culinary techniques, including molecular cuisine, Nordic cuisine, and French classicism. When it comes to categorising his culinary identity, the chef simply answers: "impossible."
His impressive career has taken him to Pierre Gagnaire in Paris, Quique Dacosta in Alicante, Pastorale, Sergio Herman, and Slius, as well as to the most famous Scandinavian restaurants including Geranium in Copenhagen, Frantzen and Oaxen Krog in Stockholm. These enriching experiences have allowed Tanaka to build his gastronomic identity and to approach his interpretation of the great classics from a new angle.
Although he reopened his address in Paris, Atsushi Tanaka does not intend to settle down: he is in the midst of planning many trips which will give him the opportunity to share his cuisine through ephemeral restaurants. His next destinations? Colombia, Peru, Japan, New York, Mexico, with more to come…
Restaurant A.T. first opened its doors in 2014 and was named by Forbes magazine as "One of the 12 Coolest Places to eat in 2015."
A.T.'s cuisine is light and each dish on the tasting menu tells a different story, summarizing its own culinary journey.
As an advocate of subtle fragrances, Atsushi Tanaka is inspired by things as simple as shades of a certain colour, like green, and he often limits himself to offering two or three products of the same hue. Variations in textures and interpretations of the same ingredient within a same dish are also intrinsic to his cuisine—take, for example, his famous “Camouflage.” These creations are all composed of certified organic and natural produce, sourced directly from the producers by Tanaka himself. Seafood comes from Normandy or Saint-Jean-de-Luz, fruits and vegetables from the Loire, Jura or Ile-de-France regions. The chef also uses herbs and wildflower gatherers such as Pierre-Édouard Robine to season, accompany, and enhance his compositions.
A.T.'s creations are a poetic mix of tastes and colours. Served on plates made of charcoal, sprinkled with flowers and decorated with Hinoki (an infusion of milk and creamy cypress wood), they almost seem crazy. 16 years after he started working in his restaurant, Pierre Gagnaire describes Tanaka as the "Picasso of gastronomy".