Photo Credit: Mory Sacko
This 29-Year-Old Black Chef Fuses African, French, And Japanese Cuisine In Paris
A 29-Year-Old Black chef is rising to stardom in Paris with his restaurant that blends his African and French background, along with his love for Japanese cuisine.
It hasn’t been easy for Chef Sacko, who told the Financial Times (FT) in an interview that he was forced to “start all over again” following a six-month lockdown in October 2020 that shuttered the doors of his restaurant after it had only been open for two months.
When he reopened in June 2021, the restaurant won a Michelin star and, in early 2021, he was named young chef of the year.
According to FT, MoSuke is a blend of chef Mory Sacko’s first name and Yasuke – an emancipated Mozambican slave who was the first and only Black samurai in Japan during the 16th century.”
Chef Sacko, who grew up in France and was reportedly born in Senegal from Malian and Senegalese parents, fell in love with Japanese cooking after training under Chef Thierry Marx at the two-Michelin-star restaurant Sur Mesure at the Mandarin Oriental.
“Thierry shared his love of Japan, culture, and cooking with me, and I fell in love with a faraway country I’d never really seen before,” Sacko said. “The rigor, elegance, and honesty of Japanese cooking immediately made sense to me. Building umami is often the goal of both Japanese and African cooking so there was a culinary logic I immediately understood. I felt at home with the palate. This is what led to my cooking style, which is Franco-African-Japanese – a reflection of my culinary journey.”
Over the summer, Sacko opened a street-food pop-up called Edo that you can find in Lyon and Marseille. He offers a taste of his cooking in street-style, which means the menu is priced more affordable
“We served Afro-Japanese street food, which was really well received in two French cities with very different gastronomic cultures,” Sacko tells FT, adding that he plans to open a London version of the pop-up soon.
If you’re planning on a visit, keep in mind that the menus are seasonal and only offered as three, four, five, and seven-course meals priced between $63 and $125.
Also, keep in mind that you have to book well in advance as it may take three months to get a table inside the restaurant.