Tetsuya Wakuda is known for many things: being one of the world’s top chefs with award-winning restaurants in Sydney and Singapore; bringing a love for sake from his native Japan to his adopted home of Australia; and, since I have the pleasure to personally know him, remaining ever humble and devoted to his culinary passion, even in the face of chef super-stardom.
Today, he has been named the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award for Asia. This accolade is part of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, and Wakuda will receive this honor in person at the awards ceremony on March 9 at the Capella Hotel in Singapore.
As the Head Chef of Waku Ghin in Singapore and Tetsuya’s in Sydney, and throughout his three decades-long career, Wakuda has earned acclaim for creating Japanese dishes that incorporate French techniques and ingredients with an emphasis on pure, natural flavors.
Wakuda opened Tetsuya’s in Sydney in 1989, seven years after moving to Australia from Japan and studying French techniques under award-winning chef Tony Bilson. Tetsuya’s appeared on The World’s Best Restaurants list every year between 2002 and 2010.
In 2010, Wakuda opened Waku Ghin, which offers modern Japanese cuisine in a 10-course tasting menu to just two 25-person seatings a night. In 2014, the restaurant ranked No. 7 on the Asia’s Best Restaurants list and No. 50 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Last week, our film crew had the honor of capturing Wakuda in his kitchen at Tetsuya’s. Watch below to hear his thoughts on winning this well-deserved award.
About Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants &
The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award
The Diners Club® Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, comprising more than 300 influential restaurant and culinary leaders from throughout Asia, each year determines the top 50 restaurants in the region as well as the singular recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Academy is divided into six voting regions: India & Subcontinent; South-East Asia – South; South-East Asia – North; Hong Kong, Taiwan & Macau; mainland China & Korea; Japan. The divisions are designed to represent the Asian restaurant scene as fairly as possible at the current time.
Each region has its own panel of 53 members including a chairperson to head it up. The panel is made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs and highly regarded “foodies.” Each panelist has seven votes. Of the seven votes, at least three must be used to recognize restaurants outside of the voter’s home country.
The results of the list will be published online as soon as they are announced to the assembled chefs and Academy members on March 9 in Singapore at the third Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards.
As the Official Financial Services Sponsor of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, Diners Club will be on the ground in the days surrounding the awards ceremony on March 9, and we encourage you to follow along with us on Twitter and Instagram via the hash tag #Asias50Best.