Bio: Tetsuya Wakuda

Tetsuya Wakuda grew up in the Japanese town of Hamamatsu in the Shizuoka Prefecture. With a limited knowledge of English, and of the country which would become his home, Tetsuya arrived in Australia at the age of twenty-two, never imagining he would one day be embraced as one of the nation's favourite chefs.

Landing in Sydney in 1982 with nothing more than a small suitcase and a love of food, Tetsuya found his very first job as a kitchen hand at Fishwives in Surry Hills. A year later he was introduced to Sydney chef Tony Bilson, who was looking for a Japanese cook to make sushi at Kinsela's. It was at Kinsela's that Tetsuya learned classical French techniques, thus forming the beginnings of his own style of cooking, marrying the French technique with the Japanese philosophy of using natural, seasonal flavours. "I made a lot of things up along the way and, luckily for me, people liked the way it tasted." 

Tetsuya left Kinsela's in 1983 and, in partnership with the head waiter, opened Ultimo's. Six years later, in 1989, he went on to open his own restaurant, Tetsuya's, on a small site in the Sydney suburb of Rozelle. Relocating to the CBD in November 2000, Tetsuya refurbished the heritage-listed site at 529 Kent St to create his dream restaurant, complete with dining rooms overlooking an exquisite Japanese garden.

Tetsuya is proud to promote the traditions and cuisine of Japan, and was honoured to be selected as the Japanese sake industry's first overseas Sake Samurai (or ambassador) in 2006.

In addition to the restaurant, Tetsuya has introduced some of his most loved and admired recipes to kitchen and book shelves across the globe, with his cookbook Tetsuya, and expanding range of gourmet products.

Over the course of his career, Tetsuya has won acclaim not only in Australia, but also internationally. Tetsuya's featured in Restaurant Magazine (London) World's 50 Best Restaurants from the list's inception in 2002 through to 2012, and has earned international recognition as one of the world's great chefs, acknowledged by his peers, the media, and diners around the globe. Tetsuya was proud to be awarded the inaugural Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide People's Choice Award for 2011 and 2013, thus cementing his reputation as one of the most respected and beloved chefs in the industry today.

2010 saw Tetsuya embark upon an exciting culinary venture in Singapore. His new restaurant, Waku Ghin, is located in the spectacular Marina Bay Sands, and has received the same exceptional reviews as Tetsuya continues to enjoy for his eponymous restaurant in Sydney.


Tetsuya Wakuda