Main content starts here, tab to start navigating


March 20, 2024 10:00 AM

Announced on March 18, 2024, this year’s edition of Gault&Millau Japan bestowed the Best Pastry Chef Award to Michele Abbatemarco, Pastry Chef at est, the signature restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi.

“I am deeply honoured to receive such a prestigious award,” says Michele. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Gault&Millau as well as to all the producers who provide us with high-quality ingredients every day. This award goes to est’s entire pastry team, who share my passion for dessert. We will continue to work hard and provide our guests with artistic creations that remain in their memory. We look forward to seeing you all at est.”

Gault&Millau’s Best Pastry Chef Award is a highly coveted accolade, given to confectionary maestros for the originality and individuality of their creations, particularly as a befitting conclusion to a course meal.

Experiencing Art Through Desserts

At est, which offers Japanese-French cuisine inspired by a deep knowledge of Japanese culture and ingredients, Chef de Cuisine Guillaume Bracaval presents a selection of exemplary dishes, prized for their lightness and finesse.

In harmony with Guillaume’s cuisine, Michele crafts elegant, delicate desserts imbued with beauty and sensitivity. Each exceptional creation expresses the emotional resonance of art on the plate, using textures, colours and shapes to move the creative spirit within.

As Michele explains, “Just like with art, we can experience emotions with a dessert. If that feeling becomes a lasting memory, then my work is completed.”

In May 2024, Michele and acclaimed Japanese artist Saki Tanaka will come together for a special collaboration at est. “Breath” and “Rhythm,” the central themes of Tanaka’s work, will be reflected in edible form through Michele’s award-winning artistry.

Fine Desserts Rooted in Sustainability

Like the rest of the team at est, Michele employs an eco-conscious approach to desserts. In order to minimize food waste, the pastry team proactively uses fruits that would otherwise be discarded due to their imperfect shape, transforming them instead into flavourful sauces and vibrant jellies.

To reduce the environmental burden of sourcing, Michele procures about 95 percent of his ingredients locally. Based on a years-long study of Japanese ingredients, he chooses to work with handpicked producers across Japan for their unique approach and methods.

Embodying a keen awareness of Japan’s 72 micro-seasons, Michele’s desserts feature not only fresh seasonal fruits but also products such as Wasanbon, Gyuhi and Agar, which have been used since ancient times in Japan.