Katsuhiko Miyamoto, known affectionately as Miya, has been a chef for over three decades. Twenty-eight years ago he was given the opportunity to travel to South Africa to work in a Japanese restaurant that was in need of an authentic Japanese chef.
Miya was offered numerous jobs in Japanese restaurants, and he built up a loyal clientele. Loyal patrons would follow Miya when he changed restaurants because they wanted his tempura and sushi. However, Miya remained faithful to the Japanese community in South Africa by catering for various Japanese companies who also preferred his sushi to that of other chefs.
Miya believes there are many different sides to being a sushi chef. ‘An important consideration is the person eating the sushi,’ Miya explains. ‘The challenge is not to fill the stomach, but rather to appeal to the eye and then to the palate with the taste sensation of sushi. The successful sushi chef wants to please his customer physically, mentally and psychologically.’ This passion for pleasing the individual has contributed to Miya’s success.
He attended a Chef’s School in Japan (Ise Cho-Rishi Gakko in 1977), where he studied French cuisine. He was particularly attracted to the beautiful serving styles of nouvelle cuisine, as well the complexity and fine tastes of the food. Thereafter he also studied Japanese cooking, which included the art of sushi-making.
In February 1999, Miya married Terry, an energetic, passionate, and highly driven marketing and advertising executive. Her marketing experience and flair for organising has been a welcome addition to Miya’s Cuisine. Together Miya and Terry have built a private and corporate catering company that takes all the headaches out of planning a function.