Seira Furuya: “I’d like to be able to put my personal style as a woman chef into my dishes”

Seira Furuya was named the best young chef in Japan region during the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 regional heat and she will now put her passion for cooking to the test at the Grand Finale in Milan under the guidance of mentor chef Yoshihiro Narisawa.

We spoke to her about her preparations on how she turned a passion into a profession.

My dish is unique because…
I will express the beauty and rich color of Japan’s four seasons in just one dish. Therefore, during the presentation you will be able to see the remains of summer, the expectation of autumn, the richness of winter and the pleasurable tones and atmosphere of spring.
I will use an entire duck without throwing away any part of it, so you will be able to taste duck in many different cooking styles; the duck will be the protagonist which will contain and express the splendor of each season. 

What are the main influences in your signature dish?
I want to feel and transmit the magnificence and natural splendor of my country through the beautiful change of the seasons of Japan.
I want to deeply experience the taste and master the skills that are peculiar to the Japanese world.

How are you collaborating with your S.Pellegrino Young Chef mentor in order to perfect your dish for the final?
I am meeting my mentor once a week, and we have been discussing about how to make my signature dish as appealing as possible. From now on, I will also start training to get the best out of my dish ingredients.

What led you to choosing a career in the kitchen?
The main reason is that ever since I was a child I have always loved food very much. Then, as I grew up, I started to appreciate French food more and more, and I was so fascinated by the beauty of the dishes. I wanted to be able to reproduce such a beautiful representation of food by myself.

Who has been a mentor to you throughout your career?
My mentor has been the head chef of Gakushikaikan, Mr. Osaka.

What are your professional ambitions?
I would like to become a chef appreciated not only in Japan, but also abroad. I would like to be always able to put my Japanese heart and my personal style as a woman chef into my dishes.

What’s the best dish you ever tasted? Where did you eat it and who cooked it?
The best dish I have ever tasted was a creation by Narisawa Yoshihiro. It was a dish composed of shrimp and sea urchin, arranged into a very beautiful and colorful salad.

What is the most exciting/challenging element of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition for you?
The most challenging part for me is that I will have the chance to offer my dish to some of the top chefs in the world.
I am training hard and I look forward to see myself in October, to see how much I will have been able to grow and improve my skills.

What will you do if you win the competition?
First of all I will buy a present in Italy for the two people who supported me the most: my mom, and my head chef.
Then, I will consider this as a new starting point. Winning is not just a goal but also a chance to start again with a whole new motivation.