Japanese chef Natsuko Shoji of Été named Asia’s Best Female Chef 2022

Shoji has honed an inimitable cuisine inspired by meticulous French techniques, Japanese flavours and haute couture.

Natsuko Shoji at Été (Photo: Lily Yu)

As part of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants pre-announced awards, Tokyo-based Natsuko Shoji has been crowned Asia’s Best Female Chef 2022.

Shoji spent her formative years training under Hiroyasu Kawate of Florilège (ranked No 39 in last year’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards) before opening her cake laboratory, Été, in Shibuya.

After proving her virtuosity in creating sophisticated desserts in addition to winning the Asia’s Best Pastry Chef Award in 2020, a cult following was built quickly around the Japanese chef for her showstopping pastry dishes that draw inspiration from haute couture. Sought-after picks include her peach cake that evokes the distinctive stitching on Chanel’s Matelassé bags and strawberry cake that takes its cues from Louis Vuitton’s Damier print.


Shoji's jewellery box cakes draw inspiration from iconic fashion houses (Photo: Ariel Yeung)

Shoji became the darling of both the fashion and cake cognoscenti, making a name amongst celebrities and renowned chefs. Her signature jewellery box cakes show a deep appreciation for seasonality, featuring some of Japan’s most prized fruits, such as Yuki Usagi strawberries from Saga, red Sakura Momo strawberries from Tokushima and white Shimizu Hakutou peaches from Okayama.

In 2019, Été expanded to a six-seat restaurant with Shoji personally serving her guests. The chef’s intricately crafted 10-course menu demonstrates her meticulous approach, respect for ingredients and creative execution while embracing both savoury and sweet courses.


The chef’s intricately crafted 10-course menu embraces sweet and savoury courses (Photo: Lily Yu)

“Natsuko Shoji’s elegant dishes reveal her perfectionism, attention to detail and creative vision, making her a worthy recipient of the Asia’s Best Female Chef Award,” says director of content for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants William Drew. “With her appreciation for seasonality, coupled with her brilliant aptitude for blending fashion and gastronomy, the chef’s creations embody the artistry of Japanese cuisine.”

"I’m deeply grateful for this award and would like to express my gratitude to the people who have supported me,” says Shoji, accepting the honour.  “I hope to be a role model to other female chefs in Japan and trust this award will motivate them to follow their passions. I would also like to honour the other chefs who have mentored me throughout my career and inspired me with their craftsmanship and artistry.”



To view the full list of past winners, see here


Follow us on Instagram