What is the common point between Anne Sophie Pic, Delarbre Laurent (from the Tour d’Argent), Eric Briffard (from the George V), Pierre Gagnaire or William Ledeuil ? These happy few have the honor of cooking the vegetables of the master Asafumi Yamashita.
In the heart of the village of Chapet in Yvelines, France, lives a market gardener like no other. Coming straight from Japan 25 years ago, Asafumi Yamashita, nicknamed as the “haute couture gardener”, grows vegetables for starry tables while he stays a simply person.
Seven french chefs have the chance to cook his execption vegetables. Indeed, we don’t choose Yamashita, this is Yamashita who chooses you and selects his own chefs. Yamashita even takes the luxury to refuse some chef like Yannick Alleno.
He defines himself his varieties of fruits and vegetables (which all come from Japan), the quantities and the prices. He works his “babies” in a rare way : they are pampered and treated as unique product. This year, only six melons (seventy euros each) have been sold. In 2014 Top Chef edition, where he organized a trial he said “I really increased my production.”
In his 3000 m² garden, no way for Asafumi to cultivate ancient vegetables, which he said “have good reason to be forgotten.” Leaving it to others, he considers his vegetables as “prototypes”. For him, every gardener has a specific role. His priority : making the most of its vegetables. He nicely said “When I sell my vegetables, it’s as if I gave my daughter to marry.”