- Louise George Kittaka
Est La Vie
MICHELIN-STARRED RESTAURANT EST OFFERS A LUXURY DINING EXPERIENCE FIRMLY ROOTED IN SUSTAINABILITY
The Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi, the newest addition to the brand in Japan, welcomes guests with luxurious facilities, first-class hospitality and a sky-high urban retreat in the city’s financial district. The hotel’s first Michelin-starred restaurant, Est, has ushered in a new era of sustainable practices with its eco-conscious approach to fine dining.
French Gastronomy X Japanese Inspiration
Head Chef Guillaume Bracaval is at the helm in Est, where he creates contemporary French cuisine shaped by Japanese ingredients and practices, supported by pastry chef Michele Abbatemarco and head sommelier Takeshi Shimura. Although Bracaval and Abbatemarco honed their culinary skills in the European tradition in their respective homelands of France and Italy, both have spent more than a decade in Japan, developing a deep curiosity, knowledge and respect for the local food culture.
The restaurant is as much an expression of their own personal journey as it is their culinary one.
“When Michele and I thought about the concept of Est, we decided to focus on local products and Japanese terroir to carve out our own individual identity inside the hotel. It’s not just an inspiration for a restaurant but actually a reflection on how we both think, act and live our everyday lives,” Bracaval explains.
“For me as a chef, it makes the most sense to choose to be ‘sustainable’ and be respectful of what we receive from nature,” says Bracaval. “It’s not just because it’s the right thing to do, but it’s also how I was raised—I don’t know any other way.”
Honored by Michelin
Having opened in 2020 in the middle of the global pandemic and with various restrictions in place, it goes without saying that the team at Est have faced many challenges. They were delighted to see their efforts rewarded with a Michelin star last December.
“I was really proud of our team because even in this difficult time of the pandemic, the Michelin Guide showed their trust in our work and it was a grand accomplishment just over a year from opening,” says Bracaval. Abbatemarco also looks to Mother Nature’s seasonal offerings and the flavors of Japan for inspiration when crafting his delectable pastries for Est. “Japanese desserts fascinate me with their textures and the use of tea and herbs can make them very interesting; not only sweet but bitter or savory,” he says.
According to Abbatemarco, there is no precise formula when it comes to creating new sweet treats. “First I focus on the choice of products and the originality of the combinations of ingredients to compose a dessert. The second stage is the design, and this is where art or nature are my muses. What is certain is that every dessert must be both the continuation and end of a good meal.”
The commitment to local sourcing extends to Est’s tableware and interior finishes, which are created by Japanese artisans. It also contributes to the bigger sustainability picture by supporting the time-honored Japanese agricultural techniques employed by local suppliers, ensuring they are preserved for future generations.
Sustainable Luxury for Every Occasion
Est is seeing a steady increase in work reunions, fostering connections between colleagues and clients with its top-class food and beverage offerings. “We are committed to providing sustainable luxury—serving and inspiring both our out-of-town guests and those living locally here in Tokyo,” says Andrew Debrito, regional vice president and general manager.
No matter whether it is business, pleasure or a combination of the two which brings you to Tokyo, the team at Est and the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi are looking forward to delivering a next-generation luxury dining experience and exceptional service during your visit.