12 May 2015

Toyo Koda to elevate menus at Le Passage Mohkan Shan

Source: Le Passage Mohkan Shan website.

Le Passage Mohkan Shan (莫干山法国山居), the French country house hotel and restaurant in its own private tea plantation on the foothills of the bamboo-covered Moganshan* mountain in China, has appointed Toyo Koda as its new head chef. The hire is its latest move to establish the 40-room Le Passage Mohkan Shan as a culinary destination in Asia.

Chef Toyo, voted in 2013 as one of the Top 35 chefs in Asia by the San Pellegrino Restaurant Awards for his work as Head Chef at the French restaurant Franck in Shanghai, is expected to revolutionise menus with his experience from Japan, France and China. 

“Toyo is not a hotel chef, he’s a restaurant chef - that really fits our luxury country house profile,” says Christophe Peres, owner of Le Passage Mohkan Shan. “He is all about the creation, the product and ingredients. And what Moganshan has is an amazing wealth of seasonal and organic products that Toyo has free reign to explore.”

It is in the organic meat that Chef Toyo is really making his mark in the restaurant. "Guests can see a range of food items that have been crafted on the mountain from products locally-sourced and from across organic farms in China,” says Chef Toyo.

Prior to working in China from 2007, Chef Toyo spent 13 years honing his craft. He began at L’Ecole Culinaire Tsuji in Osaka, Japan and Lyon, France, then went on to work at Hotel Okura Tokyo-Fukuoka, Japan, Domaine de clairefontaine, Chonas l'amballa, Relais Loui XIII, Les Saveurs de Flora, Le Sens and Hotel Plaza athénée in Paris, France.

“Toyo has worked in some of France’s finest restaurants and has been on our radar for quite a number of years,” said Peres. "Chef Toyo has a very distinct way of creating French cuisine that is more modern and light – and that is his Japanese background shining through. He keeps the traditions of French cuisine but brings them to the 21st century. With his knowledge of working in China and his work with local produce, Chef Toyo’s food is an amazing blend of the best of three cultures.”

*Mount Mogan (莫干山) is in Zhejiang Province, China, 60 km from Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province.