In a harmonious blend of traditional culinary techniques and profound gastronomic expertise, Signature pays homage to the timeless elegance in French gastronomy. Showcasing classic French recipes with a contemporary twist, Chef de Cuisine Sylvain Gioana serves an exquisite selection of gourmet dishes in an authentic fine-dining experience that lingers in your memory. The restaurant's contemporary decor, accented by elegant silver screens, enhances the luxurious ambience of the magnificent Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, establishment, offering intimate dining areas with breathtaking views of Tokyo's city skyline.
Through time and dedication, French cuisine, as the Chef de Cuisine puts it, "is a symbol of the knowledge and tradition created by great chefs, a spirit that continues to this day". In this exclusive interview, Chef Sylvain expresses his gratitude to be part of the tradition as he shares his story and profound love for his work.
1. What does French cuisine and French fine dining mean to you?
For me, French cuisine is the cuisine of love and sharing that should be passed down carefully for centuries to come. It is a symbol of the knowledge and tradition created by great chefs, a spirit that continues to this day. The knowledge and cooking techniques that have been accumulated over the years and the innovative cuisine that continues to evolve are the pride of the world. I am proud to be a part of this tradition.
For me, French fine dining is where the French culinary tradition is truly unleashed.
It is also a place where the kitchen, the service, the producers who deliver the precious ingredients, and all the teams are united and do their best with love, all with the single-minded desire for guests to have an unforgettable and precious moment.
It is an irreplaceable stage that connects everyone's thoughts and creates dynamic emotions without compromise and in every detail.
2. How would you describe your career journey in culinary?
The delicious food my mother and grandmother cooked for me when I was a little boy and the happy memories of cooking in the kitchen with them inspired me to become a chef. The overflowing love from my mother and grandmother pouring into me is what I want to express and convey through my cooking.
I am convinced that this desire will continue throughout my culinary career and will serve as a milestone for my life as a chef.
3. What does Signature mean to you and to Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo?
For me, Signature is a place that takes my culinary imagination to new heights.
It is an irreplaceable stage, supported by my uncompromising kitchen team, our guests, who rightfully appreciate our cuisine, and our service staff, who greet you with elegance and warmth. I joined Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo in 2011, my first time in Japan as a French national, and the way the hotel continues to innovate while respecting tradition is emblematic of my culinary philosophy. In the early days of Japanese hotels, French dining completed and enhanced the hotel’s glamour. I would like to revive that vibrancy at the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo once again.
"For me, Signature is a place that takes my culinary imagination to new heights."
- Chef de Cuisine Sylvain Gioana
4. What are some of your favourite moments from working at Signature?
The moment of creating a dish, imagining the dish, and the moment it will be served while letting my imagination run wild is irreplaceable. I also cherish the time I spend with the ingredients that arrive in our kitchen every day. Also, as a French person, it is a most gratifying moment for me to hear a customer say after having my dish, "It feels like I am in France today!"
5. Can you describe the dining scene at Signature?
Signature's interior is bathed in soft light during the day and the city skyline shimmers at night, while the sophisticated blue and silver colour scheme adds to the gastronomic experience. The chef offers French cuisine with a classic yet modern sensibility. The service staff use traditional silver Champ-de-Mars (silver trays) to carry the food and dance around the dining room, creating a dignified but not overly heavy, soft and comfortable atmosphere in keeping with the classic service style.
All imagery is provided by Mandarin Oriental Tokyo.
Address: 2-1-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, 103-8328 Tokyo, Japan | Website: mandarinoriental.com/en/tokyo/nihonbashi/dine/signature | Phone: