Chef Natsuko Shoji spent her formative years training under Hiroyasu Kawate of Florilège before opening her cake laboratory, Été, in Shibuya.
Inspired by haute couture
After proving her virtuosity in creating sophisticated desserts, a cult following was built quickly around the Japanese chef for her showstopping pastry dishes that draw inspiration from haute couture. Natsuko Shoji became the darling of both the fashion and cake cognoscenti, making a name amongst celebrities and renowned chefs. Her signature jewelry box cakes show a deep appreciation for seasonality, featuring some of Japan’s most prized fruits.
She also prioritizes local, seasonal ingredients. For her delicate cakes, she uses Japan’s Yuki Usagi strawberries from Saga, white Shimizu Hakutou peaches from Okayama, and red Sakura Momo strawberries from Tokushima.
Shoji’s creativity and skill have helped grow Été. In December 2019, the small cake shop expanded into a six-seat, exclusive, “intimate and indulgent” restaurant that serves an intricate 10-course menu of savory courses and her signature desserts. Shoji is also known for her salted tart topped with Hokkaido sea urchin and Mimolette cheese; tilefish with white asparagus soup and kegeni crab meat; and Akagyu beef with truffle sauce and bone broth jus.
“I hope to be a role model to other female chefs in Japan and trust this award will motivate them to follow their passions. I would also like to honour the other chefs who have mentored me throughout my career and inspired me with their craftsmanship and artistry.”Natsuko Shoji
Été is the French word for summer. It is also a reference to the chef’s first name Natsuko, which means “summer child“. Her signature cake, Fleurs d’été or “summer flowers” – stunning in presentation and the perfect demonstration of her incredible techniques – reflects the chef herself, whose beautiful smile fills guests with joy and vitality.
Natsuko Shoji has been awarded The Best Chef FoodArt Award 2022 in Madrid.