La Veduta

Connecting with taste - Chef Komaji of La Veduta

Today Sakai Ichimonji Speaks with the Head Chef of La Veduta of the St Regis Hotel, Chef Komaji. We discuss how he entered the culinary world and why he uses Sakai Ichimonji Kitchen Knives.

History of a young chef representing Osaka

At just 31 years of age, Chef Komaji has experienced many of the world’s finest restaurants. He graduated from French Culinary School in 2010 and became an intern under French Master Paul Bocuse of “Bocuse D`or", later gaining experience with the Three Michelin Star “Hajime” restaurant and at the Ritz Carlton Osaka’s La Baie. He has also competed in the Ru Dor and Osaka Food Grand Prix, the S Pellegrino Contest, and many other competitions.

"I want to go to a culinary school without taking the university entrance exam"

Looking back at his youth, he envisioned himself cooking for his family, learning about food, and writing in his school graduation book that he would become a chef. His father worked for a large car maker, and like most Japanese parents, wanted Chef Komaji to go to university and get a job with a big company.

“I was studying hard, but one day I stopped and thought, do I really want this for my future?”

He eventually sat down and discussed with his parents, who were worried but supported his decision. On the other hand, his school teachers weren’t to happy about the career path.

“At Cooking school, I learned how to cook using local ingredients regardless of the cuisine.”

Chef Komaji also decided to study Hospitality Management, to ensure his career opportunity "for the future." La Veduta is an Italian restaurant, but it incorporates elements of Japanese cuisine that can inspire customers from all over the world.

Chef Komaji recalls it being a very intense experience, with many highly skilled chefs from around the world trying to learn everything that could at this famous school. Something different was that unlike Japan, part of French culinary culture was to get you working pristine and perfect, but also finish on time and take your breaks.

For 6 months he would put his hand up first to learn anything new or even mundane, he wanted to learn everything possible and found the French people willing and happy to teach.

“The atmosphere in the kitchen changed when Paul came in, all the chef’s including the MOF Chef’s"

Chef Komaji fondly remembers his experience at the Bocuse Culinary School. He had become aware of Hajime Restaurant in Osaka, which had gained 3 Michelin Stars in the shortest period in history. People had tried to dissuade him from trying to work there, it was a tough and precision environment that was very demanding and difficult to get into.
He made a reservation at the Restaurant a few months advance for the day after he returned to Japan. When he arrived at the restaurant, he gave a letter of interest to the Owner and had a long discussion, his dedication and skill had paid off, and he was offered a role with Hajime.The Bucose culinary school was a hard environment, but Hajime offered many new challenges, sometimes he would need 100 different ingredients and to produce detailed calculations about the food quantities and costings. It was a whole different experience for him. He would later join the Ritz Carlton Osaka’s “La Baie” and learned about the importance of hospitality and using Japanese ingredients for splendid French Cuisine.

Something he learned from his time in France was the importance of being face-to-face with customers. Now at La Veduta, people say “Let’s go to Komaji’s.” He worked hard to build good relationships with customers.

“Since I was in my twenties, I was strongly conscious of using first-class produce and tools. For me, the first-class kitchen knife was "Sakai Ichimonji Mitsuhide." When I went to the store and picked up the Sakai Ichimonji Swedish Steel Knife, I thought "this is it." Not only the does it have a stylish appearance, but also the sharpness and balance of the blade were wonderful and just right for my needs. Their knives are always sharp.”

Unfortunately, Chef Komaji’s Sakai Ichimonji Swedish Steel petty knife, which he loved, was stolen while in France. French chefs would approach him and ask to try his knives, they had a real fascination with Japanese Kitchen knives. Chef Komaji notes that without a sharp edge, you will destroy the beauty, freshness and mouthfeel of most meats and vegetables.

During the COVID Pandemic, we closed our restaurant for 2 and half months, but it presented a great opportunity for me to visit the farmers and meat producers of Japan. At La Veduta, Chef Komaji follows the seasons and produces food relevant to each one, he hopes that Osaka will continue to thrive as the Food City and that customers of La Veduta will enjoy there dining experience.

Restaurant Information


The St. Regis Hotel Osaka 12F,

3-6-12 Honmachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 541-0053


Reservation / Inquiries: 06-6105-5659

HP: jp

LineThe St. Regis Osaka


Buy Chef Komaji's favorite Sakai Ichimonji Knives