ABOUT US

THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY

ABOUT TOKYO COOKING STUDIO

Tokyo Cooking Studio offers culinary experiences, allowing you to discover the beauty of Japanese culinary culture. We provide Japanese culinary experience by visiting local supermarkets and cooking classes. You learn about Japanese local products, condiments, as well as the cooking tools. Learning about cooking techniques to prepare cuisine from Japan. We also value the quality of ingredients that we carefully use. But most importantly, we believe cooking must be fun! Join us at TCS and let’s have a great time cooking together.

ABOUT YUKARI MATSUSHITA

Born in northern Japan, Yukari grew up with a big family, beautiful countryside, and the ocean. Later, while attending Tulane University in New Orleans, she discovered her passion for cooking and found her way to Tante Maries Professional Culinary School in San Francisco.  After graduating from the culinary program, she worked at Fleur De Lys, San Francisco and has done private catering around the Bay Area. After relocating to Tokyo, she worked at Cherry Terrace Daikanyama as a cooking instructor and has done cooking events in central Tokyo. Yukari  launched Tokyo Cooking Studio in her home in Shibuya, Tokyo by converting a garage into a kitchen studio in 2016. At Tokyo Cooking Studio, she offers a variety of Japanese cooking and culinary experiences for Japanese travelers. She has been sharing her love of cooking and love of Japan and the world.

MY COOKING STORY

JOURNEY OF CULINARY DISCOVERY

ROOTS

I was born on the northeastern coast of the Japanese main island, near the border of Iwate and Aomori Prefectures. I grew up in a small town surrounded by rice fields, farms and family near the beautiful Pacific Ocean.

Family was a big part of growing up, with five siblings, cousins and grandparents living all around me. My father was the owner of one of the regions largest farms and my mother ran a shop selling select meats from our farm and the surrounding area. We were surrounded by nature and always had animals living on the farms; goats, ducks, horses, and sometimes visits from wild raccoons. As I think back to my childhood, which is really different from my current life in Tokyo, I remember my big, loving family cooking and eating together in an amazing environment.

PASSION

Growing up I learned a lot of Japanese home cooking from my aunt and my sisters, but the most influential person as a cook is my father. He has some signature dishes no one can beat and he always seriously and passionately shares the secrets of his recipes with me. He and I would often go to mountains to pick beautiful wild vegetables and mushrooms, and sometimes hunt pheasant. He was always serious when talking about food. He also used to take me to great restaurants with chefs of strong character and great skills. My culinary passions were seeded by my dad for sure.

COOKING DREAMS

My culinary passions began sprouting when I went to the United States for college in New Orleans, Louisiana. There, I began hanging out with foodies and we loved eating out together at various restaurants. During this time, I also became crazy about cooking by watching all the cooking shows. I grew up with soy sauce, miso, and rice. And, now it’s all about butter, cheese, and all the baking stuff with sugar! I repeatedly cooked many recipes from watching cooking shows. Around this time, I began dreaming of someday going to a culinary school.

After finishing college, I relocated to San Francisco to be with my boyfriend, who is now my husband. San Francisco was a gourmet paradise with some of the most exciting restaurants offering an amazing mix of flavors and the ingredients are the best in the country!  I really did not expect that my dream of going to a culinary school was about to happen in this city.

DEEP AND KEEP LEARNING

I found an exciting culinary school the moment I started researching. The founder of the school was Mary Risley, and I recalled seeing her on Martha Stewart’s cooking show, which confirmed that I wasn’t making a mistake going there. The school was very intimate and offered a professional culinary program as well as many international cooking classes. The school provided the opportunity to visit wineries in Sonoma and Napa, and cheese makers in the Bay Area. Popular restaurants’ chefs came to do lectures and share their invaluable knowledge with us as well. I had amazing experiences cooking at the school every day.

COOKING PROFESSIONAL

After finishing culinary school, my professional cooking journey began… Working in a prestigious French restaurant was so much fun! I was making loads of foie gras terrines and soufflés every day, and slicing up beautiful giant truffles. I was surrounded by an abundance of French ingredients and tasted so many amazing flavors. When the restaurant was open, I was responsible for making and plating desserts. So, I plated desserts all night in that crazy fast-paced environment. I don’t remember how many times I was requested to write, “Will you marry me?” on a white plate with a chocolate pen and hide a huge diamond ring in the middle of a dessert! I truly enjoyed working in a professional kitchen. I was truly convinced that cooking was something that could endlessly interest me and was something I wanted to keep learning for the rest of my life.

RETURN TO ROOTS

In 2005, we relocated to Tokyo. And I have decided to switch my profession from working in restaurants to being a cooking teacher. I became a mother later, and I decided to start my own food business based in my home when my daughter was 6 years old. So that I can stay home and be with her after she comes home from school. I started looking for a small cooking-related company where I could learn how to run a business. I found a cookware company that imports a selection of high-end Swiss-made and French cookwares, and I asked them if I could work with them. And they hired me. I started working at a company as a cooking teacher, using their cookware. The CEO of the company, who was a 75-year-old woman back then, had an amazing taste for selecting beautiful and functional cooking tools, cookware, and tablewares from Europe. I have worked as a cooking teacher and have done many cooking events in beautiful settings using the products. She has taught me many things, but the most important thing I have learned from this experience is that great cooking tools have three things in common: good functions, great design, and they last a long time.

After all of my experiences abroad and starting to live here in Japan again, working and learning about culture have been part of my journey of rediscovering Japan. Getting back to my roots, and the more I learn, I truly appreciate, am impressed, and think very uniquely about many things about Japanese culture, and I truly want to share my culture with the world.

PURPOSE IN LIFE

In the summer of 2016, I opened my cooking school after renovating my home garage into a kitchen. Since then, I have met many wonderful and unforgettable guests in my studio and shared many good foods, food sake, and many laughs. The pandemic was a life-changing experience for me, losing my everyday work and zero income all at once, but I realized how much I loved my life. After all, I have found my purpose in life: bringing people together to share about Japan. It’s more than about food and cooking. It’s about creating a community with those who are interested in learning new things, inspired by, and absolutely love the world.

See you in Tokyo!

Yukari

2 Chome-25-3 Tomigaya
Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 151-0063

Monday – Saturday: 10:00 ~ 21:00
Closed Sunday

Get In Touch

080-7896-8476

hello@tokyocookingstudio.com

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