Japanese chef Seiji Yamamoto has been announced as the inaugural winner of the American Express Icon Award ahead of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 awards on Tuesday 26 March 2019 in Macao.

The award is a new addition to the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 existing portfolio and “celebrates individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the restaurant industry worthy of international recognition, whether over their career to date or in recent years, leading them to reach the status of culinary icons.”

Three Michelin starred Yamamoto is considers as one of the biggest masters of kaiseki. He opened his first place, Nihonryori RyuGin, an intimate 18-seat restaurant in Tokyo’s Roppongi district in 2003 before relocating to a larger venue in Midtown Hibiya, Tokyo last summer.  The restaurant sits within the top 10 of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list for six consecutive years.

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