A Stylish Insider’s Guide To Kyoto’s Best Restaurants

Born in Hokkaido, raised in America, and trained at some of France’s most lauded establishments like Le Clown Bar and Pierre Sang in Oberkampf, Reiko Yokota draws upon her worldly upbringing as the Pastry Chef of Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto.

“Traveling and all of these experiences gave me a unique perspective when it comes to desserts,” says Yokota, who’s quickly established herself as a culinary star to watch with her intellectual and artistic approach in the kitchen. She continued, “I love the transformation process of my work. I can shape the ingredients into whatever I want, it’s almost like a game for me.”

While Yokota’s job is sweet-centric, she frequently thinks about how to reimagine traditional savory dishes and flavors. This mindset is especially evident in the hotel’s very popular afternoon tea. On the current fall menu, for example, a creamy mushroom soup becomes lighter and is as tasty as a mushroom cappuccino, while a tea sandwich takes on local influences with grilled eggplant and smoky eel. “Because Japan has four true seasons, all of our ingredients have a distinct, but delicate flavor,” Yokota explained. “This is what I want people to experience and taste, while staying true to nature and keeping the vibrancy of the original product.”

Outside of work, Kyoto is just as passionate about exploring Kyoto’s ever-evolving dining scene. Here, she shares

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