"My journey as a chef"
I trained for 14 years in Osaka and Kyoto while pursuing my dream of going solo. From the time that I worked at “Ichi Juu Nisai Ueno”, I had thought that my wrist of my right side was a bit strange, but whenever I had gone to the hospital to get it checked, I was just told that there was inflammation in my tendon. One day, while I was preparing sea bream, I suddenly couldn’t grip the knife and I dropped it. I thought that it was really strange and talked to the owner that said he could introduce me to a good doctor that was a wrist specialist. The specialist told me that I had contracted a rare disease in my wrist which caused the bone to dissolve. He said “The disease has already reached an advanced stage and you may never be able to grip a knife again. You should forget your dream of making it in the world of cooking”. I was heartbroken. If I couldn’t grip a knife, I wouldn’t be able to cook. However, it was then that my master told me “for now, just go and get surgery on your wrist. Don’t worry I will take care of your salary during this time. Even if you can’t cook, it’s okay. Just come back to work for me ask a head chef.” I was really fortunate to be around a good environment and wonderful people which enabled me to grow. People such as Hiroshi Sasaki, the Head chef at “Gion Sasaki” who greatly influenced me, both as a chef and as a man. After that, I became the head chef of “Ichi Juu Nisai Ueno”, and on the 20th of June 2012, at the age of 32, I opened “Oimatsu Kitagawa”. I will always strive to do my best in order to repay all the people who have supported me. I will also treasure the friendships I have made with the people I have met, and will continue to meet at Oimatsu Kitagwa.
Source: "Interview with Toru Kitagawa" Foodion.net