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Shinichi Sato

Relais & Châteaux Chef

Shinichi Sato
Passage 53
Member Relais & Châteaux from 2013
53 Passage des Panoramas
75002 Paris


Passage 53

Lunch menu 60 EUR s.i. - Dinner menu 140 EUR s.i.

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Terminology : t. = tax - s.n.i = services not included - s.i = services included


I am from Hokkaido and I studied in Sapporo where I worked at the Grand Hotel. One day, one of my Chef’s friends invited me to go and work in France in a restaurant in a tiny village near Saint-Cloud. I arrived in late 2000. The language barrier proved very difficult and I only stayed for 4 months before I set off to try my fortune elsewhere. One day I went to L’Astrance Restaurant. That was where I experienced the biggest upheaval of my life in terms of taste and aesthetics and it revolutionised the entire way I thought about cuisine. So much so that I went and asked the Chef if I could possibly work with him. He agreed and that is where everything took off. I worked there for 2 years and as it was a small team I could see how everybody worked and I had a great deal of personal freedom in what I was able to do. After 2 years I left to work for a season in Spain, at Mugaritz, a restaurant which was then nicknamed ‘the Spanish Astrance’. When I returned from Spain in 2005, I was back to where I had started, but at least I knew that what I wanted was to work in France. I had known the Desnoyer family from L’Astrance. When Guillaume called me to ask me to be the chef at Passage 53, I knew that I would have top-quality ingredients and that if I worked hard I could start to do things my way. The Desnoyer family applied for a visa for me, and I decided to take the plunge.

Tell us about your star ingredient.

It was my friend and fellow chef Yosuke, who used to work for Joël Robuchon, who introduced me to Sologne caviar. I was immediately won over by the quality of its grains, texture, and long finish. A few years ago, I contacted Maison Nordique and began buying and using their caviar. I like it most when it’s combined with simple ingredients. That’s the best way to enjoy it, in its natural state, with roasted potatoes or toast. For the restaurant I recently developed a recipe in which I place a mound of caviar on a thin, crispy biscuit and top it with tender, slightly warm potato gnocchi. Then I add a light mascarpone and bits of hazelnut. The result is a subtle interplay of textures and temperatures, with the warm gnocchi bringing out the cool freshness of the caviar.

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