The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Gerhard Passrugger has been cooking since the age of five.

Gerhard Passrugger has been cooking since the age of five.

For Gerhard Passrugger, executive chef and director of Food and Beverage at Andaz Tokyo, cooking is not just an act of preparing amazing meals; it is also an art form that should be enjoyed and shared with colleagues and guests.

Bringing a wealth of culinary experience from across Europe, Asia, and Australia, Passrugger’s passion for cooking, attention to detail, and dedication to personalized dining experiences can be enjoyed at Andaz Tavern—the main dining venue of one of the city’s newest lifestyle hotels.

INTERNATIONAL VILLAGE
Andaz Tavern blends the best of a freestanding restaurant with the advantages of a global lifestyle marque. Unique yet familiar, high-end but relaxed, complex without being complicated, the restaurant is setting a new standard for dining in Tokyo.

Andaz Tavern takes its inspiration from traditional European taverns, but with a contemporary and local twist. The restaurant celebrates uniqueness, relaxation, naturalness, and a sense of community—an international village—while offering delicious meals.

This warm and inviting atmosphere is a result of the Andaz hotels’ philosophy, which encourages an emotional tie connecting brand, locality, guests, and hosts—including Passrugger himself.

Hailing from the countryside neighboring the historic city of Salzburg in Austria, Passrugger can trace his passion for the kitchen to when he was five years old. His obliging mother allowed him to cook for himself when, late in the evening, he would demand food instead of going to bed.

By age 12, the precocious talent could cook “virtually anything that an Austrian housewife could cook, which is quite substantial.” A year later, the teenager was already developing a strong desire to become a professional.

With the support of his ever-encouraging mother, Passrugger—just two weeks shy of his 15th birthday—began training as a chef. Not only was he a fully trained chef by the time he turned 17, having graduated with honors, but Passrugger was also gathering a string of regional and national cooking titles.

The chef’s first step away from his home in Salzburg was in the luxurious Hotel Imperial in Vienna. After two years, he cooked in some of the culinary capitals of the world—London, Sydney, Shanghai, and Hong Kong—and led operations in both small eateries and for luxury icons, including Grand Hyatt and Park Hyatt hotels.

Andaz Tavern offers stunning view from the 51st floor.

Andaz Tavern offers stunning view from the 51st floor.

PASSION FOR FOOD
One of the lessons Passrugger has learnt from his culinary journey across the world is how to enjoy himself in the kitchen—he is known to sing when behind the counter preparing a dish.

“Cooking is something fun. Having these ingredients and turning them into a great meal is beautiful. Of course, running a restaurant is something that requires strict discipline and a system.

“But while you are working fast and effectively, you should enjoy it. This sense of enjoyment is reflected in your food.”

Unsurprisingly, Andaz Tavern blends the best of European provincial cuisine with seasonal Japanese ingredients in a cornucopia of fun offerings that excite the mind and tingle the taste buds.

FESTIVE OFFERINGS
“I’m a well-traveled European country boy. Being in Japan, where the seasons are distinct, gives me a rare opportunity to try something new.

“As we move into fall and winter, we use ingredients that are similar to those in the middle and north of Europe, which has similar weather to northern Japan: we have amazing game meat and fish, such as herring, that have fattened up in readiness for the cold winter months.”

In addition to the restaurant’s signature offerings, Andaz Tavern is designing special Christmas and New Year’s Eve menus, covering a wide selection of seasonal and festive foods, including artisanal cheeses, braised duck, clay-pot dishes, and natural ciders.

Positioned on the 51st floor of the hotel, and complemented by a contemporary interior aesthetic—including floor-to-ceiling glass windows that offer some of the most stunning views of the city—Andaz Tavern is the perfect place to enjoy a romantic outing or celebrate the holiday season with friends and colleagues.