How Chef Nobu Matsuhisa Ensures His Dishes Are Correctly Prepared Across Locations

Nobu Matsuhisa may be one of the biggest names in the culinary world and a huge success, but his first restaurant in the US was anything but — in fact, it burned down within weeks of opening, reports CNN. Chef Nobu's fortunes have since turned dramatically. After opening his eponymous Matsuhisa restaurant in Los Angeles in 1987, he teamed up with Robert DeNiro to open the first Nobu in Tribeca, New York in 1994. Today, there are more than 50 Nobu restaurants around the world, per the Nobu website.

Known for the high quality of its food, and a correspondingly large amount that you should expect to spend, Nobu diners have certain expectations for their meal. Whether you're dining at Nobu in Miami, Mexico City, Milan, or Melbourne, when you order their iconic miso-marinated black cod or yellowtail topped with jalapeño, you expect it to be the same at every location, and it is. As Andrew Zimmern noted in a conversation with Eater, he once, by happenstance, ate at four different Nobu restaurants (in Hawaii, London, New York, and Los Angeles), within a span of two weeks, ordering some of the same dishes at each restaurant, "and they're exactly the same." So how does Chef Nobu ensure that his dishes are correctly prepared at each and every location around the world?

Nobu Mastsuhisa has a system for ensuring consistency across restaurants

When it comes to sushi, Chef Nobu has a signature 10-finger, six-step process, explains Travel + Leisure: "to craft the perfect piece, Chef Nobu and his staff cut the rice and fish using a series of six hand motions, almost like a dance, using each finger and motion deliberately and effectively." Chef Nobu goes into the process of making every single piece of sushi to "make the best one" and expects his staff to do the same.

According to The Critic, the techniques that Chef Nobu developed for the kitchen at the first Nobu restaurant in Tribeca also translate well when reproduced: Nobu restaurant kitchens take a "production-line approach" where staff at different stations, like grill and salad, will perform the same work over and over, ensuring consistency.

Chef Nobu also travels 10 months out of the year so he can visit each of his restaurant locations around the world, to make sure that the quality and consistency of the dishes are as they need to be to carry his name, he explained to the Harvard Business Review. So whichever Nobu restaurant you happen to be dining at, rest assured that you will get the same quality, every single time.