Eventually, I’d like to start my own restaurant in the home of Japanese cuisine: Kyoto.
Kyoto Culinary Art College
ZHANG YIXIANG (From China)
※Interview in 2016
How did you choose the school where you would be studying?
I was interested in Japanese food and thought that since I was going to study about
Japanese food, it should be Kyoto. That’s why I selected a voca tional school where I
could study, beginning with the basics. Since my mother has been working in Japan ever
since I was a high school student, I wanted to go to Japan to l ive with her and to study.
After I came to Japan six years ago and studied at a Japanese language school, I entered
a university. However, I felt that I was better suited to work in the cooking industry so I
decided to change my career path. Since the spring of this year , I’ve been working
towards becoming a chef.
What kind of things have you studied thus far?
I’m completely immersed in the Advanced Japanese Cuisine Course with other
classmates, starting with the basics. In practical training, we’re still focused on the basics,
like learning about how to use the knives, make soup stock and so on; but I’m looking
forward to learning about how to make authentic Japanese cuisine, as well as the skills I
need to become a full-fledged chef. Through these classes, I’m l earning the necessary
knowledge to take the test to become a licensed chef, such as n utrition, Japanese
culinary culture and so on. On my days off, I make dashimaki eggs and nikujaga with my
mother, using the skills I’ve learned at school.
What things have you been glad about or felt moved by, in regard to coming to study in Kyoto?
Kyoto is surrounded by mountains on three sides, and the Ka mogawa and Katsuragawa
Rivers flow through the city. It’s a very beautiful city, with a bundant nature. I’m originally
from Guilin in the southern part of China. The city is similar in natural environment and
population to Kyoto. I’m so glad I came here. The entire city is beautiful, and the residents
here have a strong awareness of their environment. I often walk along Kamogawa River
or go to the Nishiki Market. Everyone is so friendly there, which makes me feel happy.
How do you want to take advantage of your experience studying in Japan in the future?
There aren’t many authentic Japanese restaurants in China. When I came to Japan, I
found out how delicious it was. The more I studied, the more I came to love Japanese
cuisine. I want to get my chef’s license and do an apprenticesh ip in a Japanese-style
restaurant, Ryotei, in Kyoto. After I’ve gained experience, I’d like to open my o wn
restaurant. Although I’ve thought about opening a Japanese rest aurant in China,
eventually, I’d like to start my own restaurant in the home of Japanese cuisine: Kyoto.