Arriving from #4 among Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020, Daniel Calvert brings passion and precision to his new role as Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi. With his arrival, two new restaurants will open at the venue, making it the city’s latest epicurean hotspot.
Daniel Calvert’s two new restaurants at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi are set to open their doors in June 2021. Both of the venues will be inspired by the chef’s native roots, but will offer distinctive experiences: Sézanne will present French fine-dining cuisine while the lively Maison Marunouchi’s menu will overflow with French bistro fare.
Armed with credentials from some of the world’s most illustrious kitchens, Daniel oversees the Hotel’s entire food and beverage experience, bringing to it unparalleled attention to detail. “The highest quality should be felt across the property at all times,” he explains. “So, whether you’re having breakfast in bed, a working brunch or a celebration dinner at our flagship restaurant, you can expect an impeccable standard of food and drink, along with deeply personalised service.”
From a small commuter town in southeast England to star-studded restaurants in London, Paris, New York and Hong Kong, Daniel’s self-propelled rise to stardom is the stuff of dreams. “I didn’t grow up picking peas from my grandmother’s kitchen garden,” he remarks with a grin, “nor was cooking a big part of my family life.”
Despite the non-culinary soil, however, a passion for cooking took root. Daniel was all of 13 when he woke up one morning and knew without a doubt that he wanted to be a chef: “I still have that same certainty – and I still have no idea where it came from!”
At 16, he left school and struck out for London. After cutting his teeth as a line cook at The Ivy, a popular celebrity hangout, he joined the 2 Michelin-starred kitchen of Pied à Terre to learn the fundamentals of modern French cuisine. In 2009, he crossed the Atlantic to hone his skills as sous chef at Per Se in New York City, followed by a placement at Epicure at Le Bristol in Paris – both renowned establishments with three Michelin stars.
Most recently, as head chef of Belon in Hong Kong, he led the neo-Parisian bistro into the coveted ranks of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, winning the #4 spot as well as the Highest Climber Award. The restaurant also earned a Michelin star under his leadership.
Living and working across several of the world’s culinary capitals, what’s the most important lesson Daniel has learned? “Consistency is the key. Anyone can do something great once. Success lies in doing the same things over and over again, striving for excellence in every plate.
Poised to become a go-to for epicures in Tokyo, Sézanne will offer dynamic, technique-driven French cuisine in a refined yet approachable ambience. Daniel will focus on updated interpretations of classic recipes, crafted with a light touch and presented with precision: “everything on the plate is there for a reason.” Diners will also be able to explore an eclectic collection of Champagnes and artful desserts by Pastry Chef Elwyn Boyles.
With frequently changing menus and personalised courses within the same seating, this restaurant promises to be one you’ll keep coming back to. “We want to create a lineage of special occasion meals for our guests,” says Daniel, adding that his favourite part of the job is getting to know repeat diners. “I love nothing more than to see the same couple or family visiting us again and again for birthdays, anniversaries and so on; that’s the highest compliment we can receive.”
The high-concept cuisine is complemented by thoughtful interiors, brought to life by Hong Kong-based André Fu. “The mindset here is very different from a typical hotel restaurant,” explains the acclaimed designer, noting the “hidden gem” feel evoked by an array of distinct seating areas – each one carefully curated with signature touches. Effervescent colours flow into sculpturally fluid silhouettes, setting a tone that is contemporary yet relaxed: “a quiet elegance that’s designed to welcome, not overwhelm.” André employs subtle Japanese detailing, from eucalyptus wood to Zen garden motifs and local artisan-made mud paint, to evoke an almost-poetic sense of place.
At the bistro-bar, Daniel and his team plan to serve fresh interpretations of bistro fare against spectacular views of Marunouchi and Tokyo Station. Here, guests can enjoy high-concept dining throughout the day, from breakfast meetings and afternoon tea, to post-work drinks and nightcaps. With its warm and welcoming atmosphere, this sociable spot will cater not just to in-house guests but also to the local Marunouchi community. “Our menu here is highly approachable,” says Chef Daniel. “We want Tokyo to enjoy our world-class hospitality at any time of the day, whether it’s a breakfast meeting, afternoon tea or post-work drinks.”
Also designed by André Fu, the aesthetic at the bistro echoes the energy and vitality of the high-speed Shinkansen trains in the backdrop. Featuring an interplay of tangerine orange and British racing green, André’s vibrant palette is anchored by Thonet chairs and a communal table at the centre. Framed by the glittering Tokyo skyline, the iconic bar will serve classic cocktails and a changing selection of wines.
“What sets apart our upcoming dining destination is that every single element builds towards Chef Daniel’s vision,” explains Charles. “Not just the ingredients and menus but also the layout, the décor, the style of service – even the uniforms! All the pieces of the puzzle fit together seamlessly. We can’t wait for our guests to experience the result of this exceptionally collaborative process.”
About André Fu
Named Interior Designer of the Year in 2019 by Elle Decoration China, Designer of the Year in 2016 for Maison & Objet Asia and on Wallpaper*’s list of Top 20 Interior Designers, Hong Kong-based André Fu is Asia’s most sought-after interior architect, celebrated for his captivating, original interiors.
For the past decade and a half, Fu’s vision has been defined by a seamless alignment of cultural and design sensibilities, modern luxury, art and craftsmanship. A trained architect, his projects bridge the gap between cultures, and draw as naturally on European principles of beauty as on Oriental qualities, traditions and modernity. He has created furniture for Louis Vuitton’s exclusive Objets Nomades collection, designed contemporary art galleries in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai for Perrotin, and created hotel and restaurant interiors around the world including The Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, The Berkeley London, Villa La Coste and Hong Kong’s St Regis Hotel and The Upper House.
In 2019 he launched his own collection of lifestyle products, Andre Fu Living, comprising furniture, tableware and decorative accessories, reflecting his signature modern style. Last year, a hardback monograph titled Crossing Cultures with Design, by Thames and Hudson. The book explores Fu’s defining influences and the development of his highly refined aesthetic, and its relevance on the international design stage.
Reservations for Sézanne and Maison Marunouchi will open in May 2021. To find out more, visit Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi’s website.
Images courtesy Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.