The Kanazawa and Yamanaka regions are the birthplaces of many traditional Japanese arts, including lacquerware and gold leaf handicraft called "Makie," an art form roughly 1,300 years old. "When I entered the wood turner’s workshop, I saw all of these bowls piled up – the work of a lifetime! While watching a wood turner, I asked if he had good eyes to do such detailed work," says Ripert. "His response will always stay with me, ‘You look with your soul, not with your eyes.’ That was very special to me, I see a parallel in cooking – when you create sauces, there are all these flavors that are not tangible, it is a thing that doesn’t exist yet and you have to cook with your heart, not just your hands and your eyes in order to make something special."

"Gold leaf craftsmanship is an ancient art in Japan – it was extraordinary to see it in person – and to hear from the artist how he works. He is inspired by the old masters but he puts his own personal touch on it and that’s where the artist, or the craftsman or the chef, really begins to play."

For more information: Artisans at Kayotei