Magazine SWITCH Interview “Cocone’s staff canteen that brings a smile to employees face” Grand Chef Tsuyoshi Shimada
※This article is machine translated.
Tsuyoshi Shimada Grand Chef
He gained cooking experience at Tojo Kaikan and Hotel New Otani, and later worked as a chef for the 48th Antarctic Expedition. Currently, as Grand Chef at Cocone, he produces all the food at Cocone.
Start with a cassette stove
– You have served many people at hotels and on Antarctic expeditions, so how did you come to work for Cocone?
I was previously an exclusive chef for a large music content company. There, I served not only the company cafeteria but also party food and dinner meals. I had been acquainted with the human resources manager of Cocone since that time, and while Cocone was looking to enhance its company cafeteria, it seemed that they were having difficulty finding the right person for the job, so he asked me, ‘Mr. Shimada, why don’t you give it a try?” I had been working there for more than five years. I had been working at my previous job for more than five years, and I wanted to try a new environment, so I joined Cocone.
– How was your experience working at Cocone?
We did not have company cafeteria facilities at that time because the company was not yet very large. Today, we have a large kitchen with full facilities, but at first we only had a cassette stove, so we had to be creative in preparing food.
– I understand that the head office was located in Ebisu at that time. After that, did you build the kitchen from scratch?
Yes, I did. Even when we had an office in Ebisu, we built a kitchen from scratch. The number of employees gradually increased, and we now have about 600 employees in the office. The amount of staff canteen food we make now is far greater than it was back then.
– I understand that you are aware of the allergies of your employees.
I have allergies and a few likes and dislikes (laughs). While taking into account important information such as allergies, I think it is necessary to provide choices so that people can enjoy their meals, so I always make two different main dishes and two different side dishes.
– The meal is always accompanied by a salad, and the side dishes also seem healthy with lots of vegetables.
We want to keep the balance as good as possible. We have also set up a salad bar so that people can eat as many vegetables as they like. We always have both white and brown rice on hand, and we also offer seasonal rice dishes so that people can enjoy using the company cafeteria while making their selections.
– What are your other responsibilities with regard to food?
We created a café space with a barista because we wanted people to be able to enjoy a good cup of coffee at the company. We also have a bar, where our bartenders serve high quality cocktails. We want to make it possible for people to come to our office and be satisfied with everything related to food.
– What kind of place would you ideally like the company cafeteria to be?
It’s a place that puts a smile on everyone’s face. You can take a break at the café, or talk about things you wouldn’t normally say at the bar. We want to continue to provide a place where people enjoy coming to work, along with food.