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Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura: The Culinary Visionary Behind Maido and His Impact on Gastronomy


Born and raised in Peru to Japanese immigrants, Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura developed a profound love for gastronomy at a young age. This passion was nurtured by his father, who encouraged him to pursue a professional career in the culinary arts.

Tsumura’s journey began with his enrollment in culinary school in the United States, a foundational step that set the stage for his future successes. Upon graduation, he traveled to Osaka, Japan, where he reconnected with his heritage and honed his culinary skills in various esteemed sushi restaurants and izakayas. This immersive experience in Japan significantly influenced his culinary philosophy and approach.

In 2009, Tsumura returned to Peru and opened Maido, his first solo venture. Maido initially focused on perfecting Nikkei cuisine, a harmonious blend of Peruvian and Japanese food cultures that combines South American spicing with East Asian precision.

Over the years, Maido’s offerings have evolved, transcending the traditional boundaries of Nikkei cuisine to create a unique gastronomic experience that is deeply personal and reflective of Tsumura’s culinary journey.

Culinary success and Tsumura’s craftsmanship

Maido’s success and Tsumura’s craftsmanship are evident in the restaurant’s impressive track record. Since debuting on the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2015, Maido has consistently featured in every subsequent ranking, frequently securing a position in the top 10. In 2023, Maido equaled the record as a four-time No.1 titleholder on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list, having been a mainstay since the list’s inception in 2013. This remarkable consistency underscores Tsumura’s commitment to excellence and innovation in the culinary arts.

Tsumura’s approach to fine dining is distinctive not only for its culinary brilliance but also for its emphasis on creating a fun and convivial atmosphere. At Maido, every guest is greeted with a unified chant of ‘Maido!’ (Welcome!) from the team, setting the tone for an experience that is both sophisticated and welcoming. This focus on hospitality and enjoyment is a reflection of Tsumura’s character, which permeates every aspect of his restaurant’s operations.

Beyond the confines of his kitchen, Tsumura is dedicated to giving back to the community. He leverages his platform to support underprivileged communities across Latin America through various initiatives, including soup kitchens and culinary programs.

These efforts aim to educate people on how to make the most of local ingredients, fostering a greater appreciation for regional produce and traditional cooking methods. Tsumura’s philanthropic endeavors highlight his commitment to social responsibility and his desire to make a positive impact on society.

In recognition of his contributions to the culinary world and his efforts to elevate Peru’s gastronomic profile on the global stage, Tsumura was awarded the Estrella Damm Chefs’ Choice Award in 2024. This prestigious accolade, the only award voted for by his peers, acknowledges Tsumura’s dedication to his craft and his role as a role model for chefs worldwide. His influence extends beyond his restaurant, inspiring a new generation of chefs to pursue culinary excellence and innovation.

Tsumura’s culinary philosophy is deeply rooted in his personal narrative, blending his Japanese heritage with his Peruvian upbringing. This fusion is evident in every dish served at Maido, where traditional techniques meet contemporary flair.

The result is a dining experience that is both familiar and novel, inviting diners to explore the rich culinary traditions of both cultures.

One of the hallmarks of Maido’s menu is its commitment to using the finest local ingredients, which are meticulously sourced to ensure the highest quality. Tsumura’s deep understanding of both Japanese and Peruvian culinary traditions allows him to create dishes that are innovative yet deeply respectful of their origins.

This approach has earned Maido a reputation for being a pioneer in the world of Nikkei cuisine, pushing the boundaries of what is possible while staying true to its roots.

The restaurant’s menu is a testament to Tsumura’s creativity and technical prowess. Dishes such as the celebrated ‘Cuy San’ (guinea pig buns) and the ‘Sudado’ (Peruvian fish stew) showcase his ability to reinterpret traditional recipes in exciting and unexpected ways. Each dish is thoughtfully crafted to offer a balance of flavors and textures, creating a harmonious dining experience that delights the senses.

Tsumura’s impact on the culinary world extends beyond Maido. As a mentor and advocate for young chefs, he is passionate about fostering talent and encouraging innovation within the industry. Through workshops, collaborations, and speaking engagements, Tsumura shares his knowledge and experiences, inspiring others to explore their culinary passions and push the boundaries of their creativity.

In conclusion, Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura’s journey from a young food enthusiast in Peru to an internationally acclaimed chef is a story of passion, dedication, and innovation. His restaurant Maido stands as a testament to his culinary vision, blending Peruvian and Japanese traditions to create a unique and unforgettable dining experience.

Tsumura’s contributions to the culinary world, his commitment to community support, and his role as a mentor and inspiration to others have solidified his place as a true gastronomic tour de force. As he continues to push the boundaries of Nikkei cuisine and elevate Peruvian gastronomy on the global stage, Tsumura’s legacy is one of excellence, creativity, and profound impact on the culinary arts.

News Shot 24
Author: News Shot 24

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