monk Yoshihiro Imai

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An evocative and personal chef monograph – and an ode to wood-fired cooking – from Japan's exciting emerging chef

monk is the story of Yoshihiro Imai's 14-seat, seasonally inspired restaurant, set on the cherry blossom-lined Philosopher's Path in Kyoto. Through personal essays, reflections, recipes, and photography, Yoshihiro describes stories of the farmers, makers, and exceptional ingredients – from foraged vegetables to herbs and flowers – that inspire his omakase-style menu, explains why cooking with fire is central to the restaurant, and traces the evolution of the unpretentious, innovative, and flavorful pizza for which he is now renowned globally.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 270 x 205 mm (10 5/8 x 8 1/8 in)
  • Pages: 240 pp
  • ISBN: 9781838662547

Yoshihiro Imai is the chef of monk, a fourteen-seat, omakase-style menu restaurant set on the Philosopher's Path in Kyoto, which he opened in 2015. He developed his skills while working at enboca, a pizzeria with three locations in Japan, leaving as head chef in 2013. He is deeply inspired by Japanese culture as well as time spent at several well-known restaurants around the world, which inform his celebrated, exquisite, and highly seasonal cooking.

“In Kyoto a slick chef is perfecting seasonal Japanese dining served up in the most unlikely way.” — Condé Nast Traveller UK

"Recipes, essays and photos tell the story of Imai's 14-seat restaurant in Kyoto, and the omakase-style menu that's famous for including —among several Japanese courses —an unfussy, expertly fired personal pizza." — New York Times

“Celebrated, exquisite, and highly seasonal cooking.” — Forbes

“Expect pizzas topped with mackerel and kamonasu aubergine (a round Japanese variety), plus the likes of kintoki carrot with sake kasu (a by-product of sake-making).” — National Geographic Traveller FOOD

"Here, [Yoshihiro Imai] gets very philosophical about cooking with wood fire, foraging, cooking seasonally, working with farmers, and more. All in the name of pizza."  — Stained Page News

“The heart of this book is the story of the author...The writing and photography offer a journey to a tree-lined path beside a waterway on the eastern side of Kyoto, where we sit with Imai and have a talk about food, philosophy, and life.” — Harbor News

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