At est, eco-conscious practices are deeply embedded, all the way from ingredient sourcing to choose of tableware. Michelin-starred Chef Guillaume Bracaval and his team are on a mission to deliver unforgettable fine-dining experiences that have the added advantage of being beneficial for the planet.
Locally Sourced Ingredients
Elegant and contemporary, yet anchored in the eternal rhythms of nature, the cuisine at est is woven around seasonal plants and marine products. With a deep respect for Japanese traditions, the team finds endless inspiration in the relationships between artisans, customs and culture, and between nature, produce and seasons.
The team sources nearly 95 percent of their ingredients from within Japan. Reflecting a soil- and sea-to-table approach, the degustation menus are designed around high-quality seasonal produce – from fresh-caught fish supplied by a fisherman on Kyushu island, to more than fifty varieties of citrus grown on a farm in Wakayama prefecture.
The creative desserts by Pastry Chef Michele Abbatemarco are also made with artisanal products such as wasanbon (Japanese sugar) and kanten (seaweed jelly), plus a variety of fresh fruits.
The kitchen team applies a root-to-shoot approach to each ingredient. Perfectly imperfect fruits are transformed into gelée, sauces and reductions, while vegetable, meat and seafood trimmings make flavour-packed stock.
With a view to limiting carbon emissions, staples are also reimagined. In place of traditional butter and cheeses imported from France, est serves house-made “hummus” and tofu “cheese,” both crafted from soybeans.
Diligently tracking and auditing food wastage has allowed the team to make strides towards halving their food waste. Steps include adjusting portion sizes and cooking in limited batches.
Preserving Indigenous Traditions
Thoughtful collaborations have enabled the restaurant to support local communities and play a role in preserving fast-disappearing traditions. From small-lot farmers and purveyors to independent foragers and hunters, several of est’s partners practice time-honoured methods passed down through generations.
The restaurant is proud to work with partners such as the Kurofuji Farm, Ishiguro Farm, NOTO TAKA FARM and Kishu Hara Farm, among others. Not only does est feature foods from some of the finest regional cultivators and growers but also plates, glassware and interior finishes by local artists and craftspeople.
The water menu at est is selected entirely from Japanese still and sparkling waters, celebrating the country’s various mountain ranges and freshwater alps. The wine list intentionally lists Japanese bottles first, followed by French and then New World vintages.
Those with a taste for natural wines can sip the Zweigelt from Coco Farm & Winery; this domestic wine brings together vineyards in Nobori, Yoichi and Hokkaido. The team aims to offer a more extensive selection of Japanese natural wines in the near future.
Guests can also explore responsibly sourced wines from beyond Japan, including Champagne from Drappier, an estate known for its organic, natural and carbon-neutral wine production methods.