Nobu Matsuhisa

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Nobu Matsuhisa
Born Nobuyuki Matsuhisa
(1949-03-10) March 10, 1949 (age 69)
Saitama, Japan
Culinary career

Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa (松久 信幸 Matsuhisa Nobuyuki; born March 10, 1949) is a celebrity chef and restaurateur known for his fusion cuisine blending traditional Japanese dishes with South American (Peruvian) ingredients. His signature dish is black cod in miso.


Nobu was born in Saitama, Japan. When he was just seven years old, his father died in a traffic accident and he and his two older brothers were raised by his mother. After graduating from high school, he worked at the restaurant Matsue Sushi in Shinjuku, Tokyo, for seven years and was invited by a regular customer, who was a Peruvian entrepreneur of Japanese descent, to open a Japanese restaurant in Peru. In 1973 at age 24, he moved to Peru (Lima) and opened a restaurant with the same name of Matsue in partnership with his sponsor. Nobu was unable to find many of the ingredients he took for granted in Japan and had to improvise, and it was here that he developed his unique style of cuisine that incorporated Peruvian ingredients into Japanese dishes.

He later moved to Alaska, USA and opened his own restaurant, which failed almost immediately due to a fire that destroyed the restaurant.

In 1977, he moved to Los Angeles and worked at Japanese restaurants "Mitsuwa" and "Oshou", and in 1987, he opened his own restaurant "Matsuhisa" on La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California. The restaurant quickly became a hot spot and was frequented by Hollywood celebrities, including Robert De Niro, who invited Nobu to set up a restaurant in Tribeca, New York City. In August 1993, the two opened up in partnership NOBU to critical[clarification needed] acclaim. Nobu restaurants were later opened in Milan, London, Greece, Dallas, Tokyo, Honolulu, Moscow, Dubai, Budapest, and Hong Kong.

Nobu's friendship with De Niro landed him a role in the 1995 Martin Scorsese film Casino, as a wealthy businessman who was a guest at De Niro's casino. He also had small roles in Austin Powers: Goldmember, as well as Memoirs of a Geisha, where he played a kimono artist.

File:Thomas Hynes House, Aspen, CO.jpg
Matsuhisa restaurant in Aspen's historic Thomas Hynes House


The Matsuhisa Restaurants (in Beverly Hills, Aspen, Athens, Mykonos and Munich (München)) are privately owned by the Matsuhisa family, while the Nobu Restaurants are co-owned by Nobu, Robert De Niro, Meir Teper, Drew Nieporent,[1] and managing partner Richie Notar.[2] Nobu Matsuhisa also co-owns Nobu Hospitality with Robert De Niro and Jimmy Sweis. The first Nobu Hotel & Restaurant located inside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas is currently open.

In the United States:

International Locations:

Cruise Ships:



In June 2009, Matsuhisa was presented with an award from the Japan Society for his achievements in food culture.[4]


Nobu restaurants sell bluefin tuna, a species now internationally recognised as endangered.[5][6] As a result, from press and campaigning pressure, they offered to add a warning on their menu, however this was considered inadequate by conservationists to help the spiral of demand and market price that leads to overfishing.[7][8][9]



  2. "Nobu". Myriad Restaurant Group. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  3. with Gene Sloan. "Crystal Symphony to get Nobu eateries. USA Today". USA Today. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  4. "Honoring Nobu Mastuhisa". June 15, 2009. 
  5. "Failure to act will push bluefin tuna fishery to extinction". November 26, 2008. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  6. "The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas". November 9, 2010. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  7. "Greenpeace Article on Nobu". April 12, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  8. Clover, Charles (September 6, 2008). "Robert De Niro's restaurant chain sells endangered tuna". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  9. Hickman, Martin (May 27, 2009). "Bluefin tuna – with a guilt trip thrown in". The Independent. UK. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  10. "NobuThe Cookbook , Kodansha International". July 19, 2001. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  11. "NOBU Miami , Kodansha International". November 1, 2008. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 

External links