The Offaly woman and the Japanese Michelin Star Chef Camilla McLoughlin

Thursday, 11 October 2018

The Offaly woman and the Japanese Michelin Star Chef Camilla McLoughlin thumbnailStephanie Higgins and husband Takashi Miyazaki who last week was awarded a Michelin star for his restaurant Ichigo Ichie. TT4126CM

WHEN Stephanie Higgins from Ballycumber, moved to teach English in Hiroshima, Japan, little did she think that she would meet the love of her life, that they would would one day marry, set up a restaurant in Cork and that her Japanese husband Takashi Miyazaki would become one of the very few Michelin Star Chefs in this country.
Stephanie who is from Grogan in Ballycumber, is now a primary school teacher in Cork, while husband Miyazaki runs two restaurants in the city. Together they raise their two sons, Sean aged three years and 11 months and Stephen aged 18 months.
It was on a holiday home to Ireland with Stephanie, that Miyazaki began thinking of living here. Besides he felt the sushi in this country was dreadful. In an effort to educate the Irish palate to the joys of Japanese cuisine he started up a take-away restaurant in Cork called Miyazaki. This is now so popular that queues form outside the door every day.
Encouraged by this response, Miyazaki began thinking about setting up a high-end restaurant and so Ichigo Ichie, which means 'Once in a Lifetime' was born. It was the food he serves in this restaurant that scooped him the coveted Michelin Star.
Growing up, Miyazaki wanted to be an artist, however, his parents encouraged him to become a police officer instead. While in university he got a part-time job in a small restaurant which began his passion for cooking. He left university and began cooking for friends, who loved the dishes he produced, this gave him the push to begin training as a chef.
He started working in a Japanese restaurant which was very strict and which he found extremely stressful. But it gave him the training and discipline he needed to succeed.
With a love of Irish music and an interest in learning about the cuisines of other countries. Miyazaki moved to Hiroshima where he got a job in Molly Malone's Irish pub, there he found himself making cottage pie and sausages and mash. It was while he was working there that he met Offaly woman Staphanie who stole his heart.
Miyazaki now attends the market in Cork every day and uses locally produced food which he values highly. His dishes contain only seasonal food, once it's gone out of season, it is not on the menu.
Ichigo Ichie is located at 5, Sheares Street, Cork. Miyazaki is on Evergreen Street, Ballyphehane, Cork. People travel from all over the country to enjoy the food in the restaurants.


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