Norio joined Compass Belgium in 2017 as our resident Japanese chef, delighting various customers with his Japanese pop-up concept, with typical dishes from the Land of the Rising Sun. 

"I come from Japan and graduated from Toyama Prefecture with a degree in haute cuisine. I worked in several traditional restaurants in Tokyo until I was 26 years old, when I moved to Chicago (USA) as a chef for Japan Air Lines.
In 1992, I returned to Tokyo and joined Seiyo-Food Compass. I was in charge of developing the new menus and training the chefs. I then moved to Belgium, 13 years ago, to work in Toyota’s kitchens. I adapted fairly quickly to life here, thanks to my experience as a coach at Compass Group. It was my family who were surprised by the lifestyle in Belgium, the schools and the food. They didn't expect Belgians to eat only one hot meal a day, for example!

Over time, I have worked in other kitchens at Compass Group, offering authentic Japanese dishes: I love to prepare sushi, ramen, soba and yakitori in particular. One of my ambitions is to be able to create a Japanese cooking workshop to promote the culture of my country and teach easy recipes for all interested. »

The art of Japanese cuisine

Discover behind the scenes video report of our kitchens, with the Japanese chef of Compass Group Belgium: Norio Watanabe. He explains his experience and his passion for Japanese cuisine.