Top Japanese chefs group opens Japanese cuisine theme park in China


A group formed by top Japanese chefs will open a theme park in China as part of efforts to further popularize Japanese food culture in the world’s second largest economy.

Chefoodo said in a recent press release that it would partner with leading Chinese food conglomerate Bright Food (Group) Co. to bring the interactive facility to life, giving visitors the opportunity to learn and taste different styles of Japanese cuisine.

Top chefs and other members of Chefoodo gather at an event in Tokyo to celebrate the group’s launch in August 2018. (Photo courtesy of Chefoodo) (TBEN)

The group, which entered into a business partnership with Bright Food in late June, set up a local subsidiary in Shanghai in July to promote exchanges between chefs and the food industry of the two countries, the press release said.

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The partnership also includes producing television programs to promote Japanese food culture, building a factory to produce processed food for Chinese consumers, and promoting food-related trade by introducing specialty products from Japan.

The number of Japanese restaurants in mainland China has grown rapidly in recent years due to increased awareness of Japanese culture through travel and the influence of popular entertainment.

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According to a report by the Japanese External Trade Organization released in March, there were about 65,000 Japanese restaurants in China in 2019, more than three times as many as five years earlier, with more than 3,700 such eateries in Shanghai.

Chefoodo, chaired by Italian chef Mamoru Kataoka, was founded in April 2017 to cultivate the food and beverage industry.

The collective group consists of 34 professional chefs, including Yukio Hattori, director of a culinary school, and Chen Kenichi, known for his role as the Iron Chef Chinese on the television series Iron Chef.

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Established in 2006 as a food business integrating company affiliated with Shanghai city authorities, Bright Food has a variety of activities, including food processing and distribution.

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