Community of Madrid
In defiance of the typically male-dominated world of Kaiseki cuisine, the Japanese chef Yoko Hasei has gained a foothold in
A self-taught cook, she worked in fashion before devoting herself to gastronomy. Studying fashion at the University of Paris was, she admits, a way of leaving Japan. She went on to work with Christian Lacroix, and later she studied Kaiseki cuisine.
She came to Spain – attracted by the language and the art of tailoring bullfighting suits – and ended up settling here. Her relationship with the restaurant sector began in Madrid. She has worked at various restaurants, including Alma – a private club for women – and Izariya, spending three years at the latter as the front-of-house manager. The next step was to set up her own project, Leclab, where she serves Kaiseki cuisine. Once a vegetarian meal served alongside the tea ceremony, it evolved over time and is now served at lunch and dinner and includes vegetables, fish and, in some cases, meat, all served with sake. Hasei is also an accredited International Kikisake-shi sake sommelier.