A few months ago I had the chance to sit down with Japanese-Parisienne Restaurant Owner, Taku Dersou. I must start with what sparked my interest in visiting Taku and sitting down to pick his brain. In my new effort of updating my content, I decided that colorful, innovative people are constantly surrounding me, and while our universes might not always meet in obvious ways- they always have a common ground. The appreciation I have for my travels and the people who I have crossed paths with have concluded in furthering my creative interests and my business through inspiration.
The night before my last big race, my 10k last October with Nike, the Nike team arranged for us to dine at Taku’s Parisienne Restaurant, Dersou. I am someone who often feels the yolo spirit when eating out, I don’t normally want to pay high prices for “healthy” food unless I am buying groceries. I mean but I will pay 20 bucks for some Rosco’s fried chicken.. and by Chloe in the Lower East Side has the best fake chorizo, non dairy, vegan taco-salad I have ever eaten (also about a 20 buck dining experience) . So let’s be clear the fact that I, someone who considers myself as a food expert had an amazing dining experience all while being tricked into eating amazing, sophisticated paired, flavorful food and drinks that also, just happened to be healthy speaks miles for what’s to come.
Meet Taku, a native of Tokyo has been in the restaurant game for 11 years. He’s a nice guy who knows what he likes, and he works with all his friends. When you enter the restaurant on a friday or saturday night the ambience is relaxing, a bit charming, low lights and nice background music that can change on any given night. Taku credits many genres of music to his colorful dance like relationship with food. Speaking of dance, the small staff of what to the blind eye looks like 6 to 7 people has the tough job of creating each plate specially to order, and doing a choreographed-skilled dance with up to 5 courses- which leads me to my next statement. The 5 courses (including dessert) are paired with healthy non alcoholic drinks.
Pretty much a party in your mouth, and you don’t even feel full. The meals are small, and all so well thought out you can keep going if allowed. Taku calls his style of food- “Freestyle Fusion” he creates the menu each night off the top of his head all keeping in mind which ingredients are in season. Using just about 20 suppliers, he supplies quality, healthy food and vegetables sourcing from farmers markets, the sea, and the best farm raised meat. Taku states his mission to create in this way is to keep people happy. Which one would think a longer dining experience that doesn’t leave you feeling full and tired, or intoxicated is one that can really be something to smile about.
When I asked him about his method of pairing drinks with food he explained to me that in france little things change, a conclusion a Francophil like myself has seemingly noticed in day to day life of this country I love so much. He wanted to stimulate his guest, and change the style of dining out in france. To create a new dining experience so to speak. To Taku, Diversity means being free, to have more fun, to grow, and to be more interesting.
“If we want to move forward we have to break the chords of traditions and what we were taught. If we see things in a narrow way, we become stuck. A wider vision is better.” Says Taku when referring to challenging the french and japanese restaurant challenges that he was raised with.
Some amazing advice that I truly believed can be applied to life.
21 Rue Saint-Nicolas
75012 Paris, France