Le Pont De Ciel -Renewal-

The food made by restaurants that are particular about their knives is delicious

As the number of restaurants that are particular about their ingredients increases, chefs are also becoming more particular about their kitchen knives in order to make the best use of those ingredients. Restaurants that really focus on the quality and care of their kitchen knives make, without exception, delicious food.

The "Connecting with Taste - Chef Interviews" series introduces restaurants with amazing cuisine! Gourmet food websites star these restaurants of course, but they warrant further discussion - partially in thanks to the charms of their chefs.

Le Pont de Ciel, featured in the 4th issue of this series, has decided to take on a new challenge, leaving behind its famous Taisho era architecture.

*Click here to see our previous article on Le Pont de Ciel before they moved locations. 

We interviewed Mr. Osamu Ogusu, the executive chef, about his struggles and challenges in his life as a chef.

A turning point for a famous restaurant that has won Michelin for 13 consecutive years.

Two years ago, we were approached about relocating. The owner, Obayashi Corporation, was building a new restaurant for a big project in Yodoyabashi, and asked me to be the chef for the new restaurant.

From the owner's point of view, this was the time to relocate and renew the restaurant from scratch.
There also created the possibility of changing the chef, so I was very excited to be asked to take on this new role.

As a representative of "Authentic French cuisine in Osaka"

We did this with the intention of representing "French cuisine from a prestigious restaurant with a long history." Originally, we had a partnership with Guy LASSAUSAIE, a famous one-star restaurant in Lyon, and we invited chefs every year to introduce authentic French cuisine. However, that partnership was set to expire.

Naturally, I was anxious. It was a major turning point for a restaurant with a long history. Although I was a representative of La Soze, I felt that from now on I would have to take responsibility for the restaurant.

I was trying to introduce "real French cuisine," so I had always tried to be a traditional French restaurant, using butter and cream as the main ingredients. Butter and cream are to French cuisine what miso and soy sauce are to Japan—indispensable elements. However, there had been times when customers had said to me, "It's delicious but a little heavy when you get to the end," or "I get full before I get to the main course." There was conflict within me as to how far I would go to keep that style.

Conflicts Facing Tradition

A turning point in the process was when a chef from France in partnership with us used very little cream. When I asked him, he said, "My grandfather was Italian and a chef." The customers were delighted. Turning to the ingredients, the evolution of distribution had made it possible to purchase ingredients of high quality and freshness that would have been previously unthinkable. It had become possible to offer dishes that were not based on seasoning, but rather on making the most of the ingredients.

When I told the president that I was conflicted about being "representative of traditional French", he said, "Just do your cuisine." I remembered that when I was asked to be the executive chef at the time of the relocation.

Also, Restuarant Guy LASSAUSAIE, with whom we had a partnership, was very supportive about the relocation and said they would definitely like to have a showcase at the new restaurant, which gave me a boost.

We are now in an era where Japanese people are playing a very active role in the world of French cuisine. Various dots are connecting as lines, and I have come to think that there is no need to be too particular about the value of directly importing authentic French cuisine.

The Innovation of "Face to Face Authentic French Cuisine" x "Firewood" in Osaka

From there, we developed the concept of the restaurant, which adopted the counter style and became a very innovative form of French cuisine. There are now several restaurants like this around the world, and it is gradually giving birth to a new trend. However, it is not yet established enough to be called a style.

Another thing I really wanted to offer was a wood-fired oven in the center. Wood is difficult to control, but it can be used for delicate firing and is a heat source that allows the chef to express his or her individuality. I don't think there are many authentic French restaurants in Osaka that use wood-fired ovens.

Since this is something we are doing for the first time, we are making improvements through a thorough test kitchen, considering various elements such as "which operations should be done in front of our customers," "it's okay for the operations that customers can enjoy the aroma, but those that make too much noise should be done in the back," and "standing in front of our guests all the time can make them feel overpowered."

I don't think there are many places that have been created on such a scale, team, and concept. I hope you will enjoy the atmosphere of the wood-fired oven and the live atmosphere at the counter, the private rooms that the Obayashi team has carefully selected, and the cuisine that we have newly interpreted as Le Pont de Ciel, based on French traditions.

A new challenge in a chef's life that I thought was the final stage

I am already at a career and age where I can safely say I am in the final stages of my culinary life. Time will surely pass by in a flash. The Obayashi Corporation has taken on the space and many talented staff for a major project in the center of Osaka as a big challenge, and I would like to face it with the intention of being an active member of the company for the rest of my life.

Shop Info

Le Pont De Ciel

〒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