Nobu – The Cookbook

With restarurants in the most important cities of the world, Nobu Matsuhisa, the chef, the man, the husband, the father, has seen success even bigger than he dared to dream as a young man, come true. This book was published in 2001, (over ten years ago), but Nobu’s cuisine is timeless, and every recipe looks modern and classic at the same time. If you’re wondering what this has to do with Peruvian food, read on!

Nobu didn´t attend culinary school, but found a job in a restaurant in his hometown, back in Japan, that instilled in him the desire to learn how to make sushi and become an itamae. At first, his boss taught him how to clean the place, do the shopping, do the dishes… but after three years, his journey as a sushi cook started, and some time later, one of the restaurant diners, a Japanese living in Peru, offered him to open a restaurant in Lima.

Knowing nothing of the country or the produce he would find there, (especially when it came to fish and seafood), Nobu decided to spend a month in Peru, researching the markets and fish mongers, and to his surprise, he found the freshest fish and seafood, with the highest quality standards. Because he was so young and eager to live abroad and make a name for himself, he accepted the offer and moved to Lima, despite his mother´s fierce opposition. Matsuei, the restaurant he opened in Lima, in Avenida Canada, was a big success, and soon other chefs were copying Nobu’s recipes and dishes.  He was a pioneer in Japanese-style food, mainly sushi. Word of mouth spread all over the city and the place was soon packed with businessmen, politicians, writers…

These years in Peru were a huge influence in Nobu’s cuisine. He learned how to incorporate Peruvian flavors to sushi, and even today, his cooking is highlighted with Peruvian dishes, sauces and seasonings. In this book, you will find Octopus tiradito Nobu-style, with rocoto chili paste and coriander leaves; Grilled octopus with miso anticucho sauce; Seafood ceviche Nobu-style, with spicy-sour ceviche sauce; and White fish tiradito, among many others.

Life has been good to Nobu, but once upon a time, after he left Peru and moved to Alaska to open another restaurant, he had the most difficult experience of his life, so hard that he wanted to commit suicide. It was the saddest night of his life, when the new restaurant burned completely and he found himself without a business, no money, and a family back in Japan. His little daughter was the person who kept him alive. Thank goodness, because success was waiting for him around the corner.

A few years later, the famous actor, Robert De Niro approached him and asked him to start a restaurant with him. The rest, ladies and gentlemen, is history.

Get the book HERE.


  1. Had no idea that’s how the restaurant came about! BTW, love his pants!

  2. How interesting! Y que buena leccion – no darse por vencido. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  3. I’m always impressed with chefs that didn’t go to culinary school and yet are able to make a stellar career for themselves. I need to get his book and eventually visit his resto! His food always, always looks amazing. So clean and sexy.

  4. I loved Nobu and it is on my list

    Thanks for sharing

  5. This looks like an awesome book! Thank you for sharing!

  6. I’ve been a big NOBU fan since he first opened Matsuhisa here in LA….. Many moons ago, and loved the peruvian influence since day one…… it’s what set him apart!

  7. What a great success story! If you don’t give up, things will happen. right?

    A friend of mine who is from Peru owns his cookbook. I liked several of the recipes in there.

  8. The food look decadent! The story proves that if you dream and you work hard, your dream can become a reality…

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