shige Japan

Shigeyuki doesn’t remember how old he was when he started cooking, but he’s never forgotten the smile on his friend’s face when he would make snacks for him in Japan. As a child Shigeyuki helped his mother by prepping for family dinners. He graduated from culinary school and began working in restaurants in Tokyo as a kaiseki apprentice. Kaiseki is a multi-course dinner prepared with seasonal foods.  

As a child, Shige’s father played Simon & Garfunkel records at home introducing him to the United States. His interest in the U.S. grew while working in restaurants in Japan and meeting international travelers. 

He moved to Minnesota in 2009. He is co-owner of Kado no Mise, the lone kaiseki restaurant in Minnesota. 

Kado no Mise

My name is Shigeyuki Furukawa. I was born in Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture. I don’t remember exactly my age, but when I was a kid, I started cooking my snack with my friend and serve food to my friend that his face is smiling, because he said that very, very delicious, and I can’t forget his face. Then I started to be interested to serve food, and I want to make everybody smile. And also I was helping my mom prep for dinner. That was fun time, too.

So I graduate culinary school, then I need to decide to take course — French, Chinese, and Japanese. Because I’m Japanese, I decided to take a Japanese course. Then my teacher introduced restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo. I decided to work for them as kaiseki apprentice. Apprentice — it’s depends on me, how I can learn, how quick I can learn. I feel my apprentice done the first year. Then step up the next station, and then next step up to the next station, something like that. Then I was there several years until I became a sous chef.

When I was kid, my dad was listening Simon and Garfunkel vinyl records, and I was listening, too. Then I start to get interested in United States, and I want to go to US; I want to move to US. I came to New York in 1999. I was working at the Sugiyama Restaurant on 15 East. Sugiyama Restaurant was located 55th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue. 15 East is close to Union Square.

We need to go back to US because of my green card. I cannot stay more than two years out of the United States. Then I need to go back.

I was working at Origami restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, six years in there. Lots of Japanese restaurant serving same fish whole year, same foods whole year, but food has a season. Also, the plate, lacquerware has a season. I want to introduce this Japanese culture to Minnesota.

Kaiseki is a seasonal tasting menu. Again, food has a season, lacquerware pottery has a season. I want to introduce this seasonality of food and pottery to Minnesota. This is different – kaiseki. So kaiseki, I’m serving ten course kaiseki right now. And there’s the seasonal appetizer, Hassun dish (a tray of tidbits from mountain and sea that the guests serve themselves to and accompanies the round of saké (rice wine) shared by host and guests).

Hassun is a snapshot of the seasonal food — something from ocean, something from the land and the mountain – sashimi, also, and Korean clear soup dish. Grilled fish, simmered dish, and some vinegared dish. Also have, you will get rice dish and sweets, too.

So I’m all the time compared to New York. Quality of life here is better than New York, and also the city’s clean and more green. I can afford to buy a house, also the car, and I can open my restaurant in Minnesota. People is nice, more friendly here, pace is slow but more relaxed. I like that.