Special Feature February 2017

Interview with the owner Azko Iimori:

IIMORI
PATISSERIE & RESTAURANT
Brauchbachstrasse 24
60311 Frankfurt am Main
www.iimori.de

GYOZA-Bar
Mainzer Landstrasse 125
60327 Frankfurt am Main,
www.iimori-gyozabar.de

This is where Tokyo and Paris have built a nest in Frankfurt

Nine years ago Azko Iimori started her PATISSERIE IIMORI in Braubachstraße.  When you come to IIMORI’s you will realize that this place is unique upon crossing the threshold. The ‘cloud nine’ patisserie at IIMORI’s tastes “magnifique” and the sushi which is served upstairs is also absolutely delicious. Downstairs is the Patisserie and upstairs you’ll find the Japanese restaurant which looks like a “salle à manger” in Paris on the Champs Elysées. The brunch at weekends in the upstairs restaurant is excellent. Booking a table in advance is recommended.

One of my students, an American business man in his sixties, who had been to Japan on lots of business trips for decades, said about the Iimori: “At the “IIMORI” I have eaten the best sushi outside Japan”. Some more information about this wonderfully creative woman is provided here for you: Have fun reading 🙂

Interview with the owner Azko Iimori:

Can you tell us something about your time in Paris?
As a Japanese woman I always found Paris very beautiful and I began spending my holidays in Paris. I truly believe that dreams can come true if you are willing to go just step by step. I developed the idea of having a place to stay in Paris even though I had no connections whatsoever to that city. I grew to love the atmosphere and the style of living in Paris more and more and I started daydreaming about living a life in Paris.

Did you travel to Paris from Japan?
No, I was already living in Germany when I started travelling to Paris more frequently. I love the language and the food tastes so good in Paris.

Did you have a certain idea about what you wanted to do in Paris and how long ago was that?
That was 25 years ago. I was already running a Japanese restaurant in Frankfurt am Main and had my family in Germany. First of all I thought that it was impossible. Finally I bought a very small apartment in Paris and I renovated it myself and whenever I went to Paris I bought some piece of interior like a mirror or something else. Then I decided to attend a language school and to study patisserie in Paris.

Do you still own the small apartment in Paris?
Yes, I do. It is located in the centre of Paris and I really love it a lot. It’s a holiday place for the family as well.

When did you open your first Japanese restaurant in Frankfurt am Main?
That was 28 years ago. The restaurant was called “Sushi am Main” and it is still existing. “Sushi am Main” is located in the Westend, in Feuerbachstrasse. The “Sushi am Main” is now owned by my former employees. We are all like one big family and we still have a very close relationship. Whenever there is a problem they can contact me.

Nine years ago I opened Patisserie Iimori in Braubachstrasse and in 2005 I took over the Japanese restaurant “Takara” in Paris. The “Takara” is 59 years old and the oldest Japanese restaurant all over Europe.

You are a very artistic person – you not only design your own patisserie and give cooking and patisserie courses, you also play the harp and you paint … Can you tell us more about that?

I am originally from a family of artists from my father’s side. My father is a designer and an artist. My father is now over 80 and he is still working as a designer. From my mother’s family it’s doctors.

When I was a little girl I started playing the harp and ever since I have played the harp and I have practiced every day. Music is a kind of daily meditation for me and I enjoy very much playing Bach. I also started painting when I was a small girl.

How did you come to making French patisserie?
I started making cakes when I was a six year old girl and as soon as I could read I began reading professional cookbooks and wished for an oven as a present for my sixth birthday. In Japan French patisserie is the usual standard for cakes and sweets and very many Japanese bakers have made an apprenticeship in Paris.

What was the inspiration to open your new Japanese restaurant “Gyoza-Bar” in Mainzer Landstrasse?
Gyoza is the name for a kind of dough bag filled with pork, chicken or vegetables. Japanese noodle soup is also served in the Gyoza, nowadays noodle soup is very popular in Japan. The “Gyoza” is addressing younger guests. The Gyoza Bar is run by my daughter Makiba. She is 25 and studied medicine but now she wants to change and take over the business.

It was a pleasure talking to you and I thank you very much for answering my questions.