Le Pont De Ciel

Connecting with taste - Chef Ogusu of Le Pont De Ciel

Chef Ogusu grew up in Sasebo, his father was a carpenter and there were always hammers, mallets and nails strewn around the house.

“I grew up knowing the value of work and making things yourself” he recalls.

He remembers watching popular Japanese cooking shows on TV while in elementary school, which inspired his enrolment at Tsuji Gakuen (Tsuji Culinary School), a famed cooking school in Osaka.

“At that time, Tsuji Gakuen was in this building*. I never dreamed I would be working in here in a few years.” *Note: the restuarant has since moved out of this building.

After graduating, I joined Basel, a store run by a president who had won the Prime Minister's Award in the world of Western confectionery. I originally intended to become a chef, but since there is such a top professional in Western confectionery there, I chose to start there instead. Furthermore, they also invite people every year from Germany, the origin of Western confectionery, so I thought it would be an excellent learning opportunity.

However, due to circumstances on the store's side, there was a shortage of staff at the restaurant department's Hirakata branch, so I worked there.
At this restaurant, I was able to learn a wide range of work: breakfasts in the morning, lunches in the afternoon, and the coffee shop during idle hours, so I think it was a good thing in the end. I lived and worked there and had
incredibly little time off. After working for 3 years, I wanted to go back to my hometown. When I checked my financial situation, I found that I had almost no money. The salary for a live-in chef back then was much less than it is now.
I was able to learn enough, but I wanted to learn more techniques and see a different style, so I switched to a different restaurant in the same Kansai area.

“I had learned many things at the hotel“

He moved on to the Otsu Prince Hotel. He wanted to work at the main dining hall on the top floor, but he was assigned to a banquet for a while and finally to the restaurant on the first floor. The scope of his work continued to grow, as his responsibility extended not only from morning to night but also 24-hour, breakfast and room service.

“I’m grateful for the experience it gave me”

After 3 years, he decided it was time to join a full-fledged restaurant and thankfully he found a position at Le Pont De Ciel. From then on, every day has been a day of study and learning.

I am now the head chef, but working with two or three-star chefs who come from the restaurant in France with which we have partnerships every year inspires me to realize that I have a long way to go."

Thankfully, we got a star for 10 consecutive years (at the time of the interview; 11 consecutive years as of November 2019).
That would be a setback if we lost it. We have no choice but to strive for two and three stars.
Our concept is "authentic French cuisine in Osaka", so we cannot promote innovative cuisine or fusion styles.
We need to find a way to satisfy our customers in the manner of classic French cuisine. Every day is a learning experience.

Every day is a challenge. I remember at a banquet of 90 people, after tasting the course, we were not satisfied so we remade everything from scratch.

Chefs working at the forefront of the world's culinary scene are always thinking about how to please the gourmets.

In Japan, there are some restaurants in Tokyo that would be ranked among the world's best restaurants.
As we aim for such places, I hope we can offer authentic French cuisine to our customers in Osaka.

I believe that we are given a star by aiming for the pinnacle of French cuisine.
Every day is a challenge so that we do not lose credibility.

When we had a banquet of ninety people the other night, we were not satisfied with one of the dishes in the course, so we remade everything from scratch.

If the customers come back regularly, we change the menu so that they can discover something new each time.

I don't want to use the word "pride". All I really want to do is my best work.

No matter how many star chefs we have, there are some dishes we can't serve without the quality and number of staff.

We have been entrusted with a good environment, staff, and facilities, so we want to live up to expectations more and more.

When I look at pictures of food at other restaurants, I can now tell how many people are working on a dish.
The point is that there are dishes that can only be served when you have the right number of people working together as a team.
No matter how many star chefs a restaurant has, it cannot produce quality food without the quality and number of staff.

In that sense, I think it is a blessing to have an abundance of staff and to be able to offer a wide range of dishes in a time when there is such a shortage of human resources.

“I think that Japanese people who are particular about the care of tools are successful in the world.”

The top restaurants in the world now employ Japanese cooks, and two starred restaurants in Lyon both feature Japanese owner-chefs.

What is interesting is that Japanese chefs always ask me about knives.
In my opinion, the successful Japanese chefs are highly conscious about taking care of their tools, but that does not necessarily mean that all Japanese chefs take good care of their kitchen knives. But it seems that more than a few people that have the impression that Japanese kitchen knives are sharp.

Japanese kitchen knives are becoming popular all over the world, and there are many hard-blade knives in Japan. Some of them are hard and difficult to sharpen.

The knives at Sakai Ichimonji are sharp and hard, but actually quite easy to re-sharpen and maintain unlike many other knives. Hardness can often equate to difficulty to sharpen, but Sakai Ichimonji takes extra care during the heat treatment process to make knives easier to maintain.

“I am always thinking of the next step, trying new ingredients, taking photos and mixing menus together, sampling new dishes. To keep ahead and constantly produce fine French Cuisine for the people of Osaka”

Restaurant Information

Le Pont De Ciel

6-9 Kitahamahigashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 540-0031

TEL : 06-6947-0777


〒541-0014 Nippon Life Yodoyabashi Bld. B1F, Kitahama 3-5-29, Chuo-ku, Osaka, JAPAN

URL for reservation:https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/lepontdeciel/reserve

View Sakai Ichimonji's range of premium Japanese Kitchen Knives