Nobu Matsuhisa quotes:

  • Sushi is something very exclusive. It is not like a McDonald's, not like a hot dog, not like a French fry. It's very high-class cooking in Japan.

  • Los Angeles is my home - I have my wife and two daughters growing up there.

  • One of my great loves is golf. When I am in L.A., I like to play with a few close friends: no phones, no distractions, the great outdoors and the chance to bet some money to keep it interesting.

  • I eat soup noodles for comfort. In fact, noodles of any kind. It's a food that is very easy to eat; it's very soothing and comfortable, too. If I could choose any, I'd say buckwheat was my favourite: it has a very good flavour and is healthy, too.

  • What I relish most is when a member of my staff, who has worked with passion and patience towards achieving their dream of owning a restaurant, walks up to me and says, 'Nobu! I have done it!'

  • Have you ever been to Mexico City and haggled with the locals over souvenirs? Well, in Peru, you had to negotiate like that to get the freshest fish at the market.

  • Every year, I do a New Year's day party at my home. I invite my staff and my friends and their kids. Around 40-50 people come by, and I do a barbecue and salads, steak and sushi, and also lots of cheese.

  • I like Mercedes because my wife has been in two big accidents and emerged without a scratch, thanks to the safety of these cars.

  • I have a restaurant in Milan, and Paper Moon is five minutes away from my hotel, so I always go there for lunch. It's a casual place that serves good salad, pizza and pasta; the space is tight with tables close together, and it feels buzzy. Food comes out fast, too.

  • I learned from my first restaurant: Make customers happy, make sure the customer comes back again. And automatically, success has followed me.

  • I exercise every morning, no matter what. Sometimes it's tough to do right when you get off the plane, but after ten minutes you start sweating, and you always feel better.

  • When I'm home in L.A., I go to La Brea, a bakery which does artisan breads, excellent sourdoughs primarily, but also patisserie and cakes.

  • I travel all over the world, usually 10 months out of the year. I stay at a lot of hotels, and the ones I like best are clean and not complicated. You go to bed and say, 'Wow, I feel comfortable.'

  • If I am at home in L.A. on a Saturday or Sunday, I like to start the day with a hot bath and then do an hour of stretching.

  • It's true that cilantro has a strange, strong flavor. People seem to love it or not like it at all. Even I didn't like it at first when I had it in Peru. But I got used to it - it's hard not to in South America - and now I can't live without it.

  • Making sushi is an art, and experience is everything.

  • I am very lucky to consider many of my business associates friends. Some are closer than others, but I respect and value all of them.

  • My flight time is important to me; I actually prefer a longer flight to a short one. That way I have time to read a book, watch movies, and think about new dishes.

  • One of my favorite ways to use cilantro is in a beautiful clear soup with monkfish and lime. It's a great dish for cooler weather, especially because monkfish is very good in fall and winter. Also, I like the meatiness and rich texture of monkfish.

  • I like both potatoes and rice. You can do a lot with both of them. But if I could eat only one carbohydrate for the rest of my life, I wouldn't choose bread, potatoes or even noodles. I'd go for rice instead; I eat more of that than anything else.

  • I always eat a meal at home before I leave for the airport, so I only eat the soup and salad on the plane.

  • My favorite knife is from Miyakoya in Japan - I have one in each of my restaurants.

  • A sushi chef has to spot the best-quality fresh fish instantly.

  • One day, the people who work in my kitchen stir-fried chopped Napa cabbage to serve with some meat or fish for their own dinner. I got to thinking: 'What if the cabbage was the most important thing on the plate?'

  • I enjoy people who have passion, whether it is as a musician or whatever they do. All people who have success keep it very basic. Try your best. But without passion, you will not have success.

  • Once I fell out of a tree and was hit by a motorbike. I still have the scar on my head now.

  • Every morning when I woke up, my mother was already in the kitchen making breakfast. It was always the same: steamed rice, pickled vegetables, grilled fish and miso soup. Each day there was something different in the soup such as tofu or potatoes.

  • Shellfish is better to buy live. In the U.S., because we eat oysters and clams raw, it is very important that they are alive before we prepare them. It's important to look for a closed shell. If a clam is alive, the shell will be closed. Never buy clams if the shell is open.

  • It's not unusual for me to wake up in the middle of the night and not know where I am. I take sleep medication to deal with all the flights. But I find it helps to eat at the same time every day.

  • Large fish such as tuna are shown already cut into fillets and bought by the block. Fillets should be almost transparent. Avoid tuna that looks rainbow-colored or black.

  • You know how kids dream of being soccer players or actors? Well, my dream was to be a sushi chef.

  • Businesses that run well are almost like marriages. Everything has to be up for discussion, or there will be real problems.

  • People eat the chicken, people eat the beef, they still say, 'Don't kill the fish.'

  • I grew up in the countryside in Saitama prefecture, north of Tokyo.

  • Of course the Japanese and Peruvian fish are different, but it's the same Pacific Ocean. They are different, but I know fish.

  • I'm a lucky person because the company keeps growing, and that means my team keeps growing.

  • People who make mistakes but try their best, other people will support. But people who make mistakes because they're lazy, nobody supports.

  • I remember watching steak being cooked on TV and wanting to try it. As a special treat, my mother cooked it for me, and I thought this would be the time I would eat with a knife and fork. Alas, I ate it with chopsticks!

  • I'm not perfect. I am not Iron Man.

  • When I'm dining out privately, I tend to avoid fine-dining venues; I like things to feel casual.

  • In Tokyo, we have more three-star Michelin restaurants than Paris.

  • With sushi, it is all about balance. Sometimes they cut the fish too thick, sometimes too thin. Often the rice is overcooked or undercooked. Not enough rice vinegar or too much.

  • When I was 11 or 12 - a young boy in Japan - one of my older brothers took me to a sushi restaurant. I had never been to one, and it was very memorable. Back then, sushi was expensive and hard to come by, not like today, when there's a sushi restaurant on every street corner and you can buy it in supermarkets.

  • I love big shrimp, like Japanese botan shrimp and the meaty ones from Santa Barbara, Calif. In classic Japanese cooking, shrimp like these would be dropped into a broth or boiled as served with sushi. But I think boiling dilutes their great flavor, and they are better when stir-fried.

  • The fine art of preparing sushi is something that you watch and learn.

  • Cooking is like fashion. Always, I like to try to change. If I'm traveling in a different country - to Australia, the Bahamas, Budapest, Moscow - and I see a new ingredient, I like to try it in a new dish.

  • My business partner Robert De Niro knows a lot about hotels; he opened the Greenwich Hotel in New York City.

  • Napa cabbage is very beautiful, all those long, pale leaves with ruffled edges.

  • Eating a lot on the plane is not good for jet lag.

  • My cooking is very simple, so I don't really use machines at all. A knife, cutting board, frying pan and strainer are my essentials.

  • When I set up my first restaurant, I was so inspired by Wolfgang Puck, who is also based in L.A. and is now a good friend of mine, and the way he would engage with his customers and greet them personally.

  • I started cooking when I was 18 years old, and now I have restaurants all over the world.

  • A different spice is the most interesting thing to me.

  • Any kind of vision needs people.