Californian Celebrity Chef Unearths Niseko’s Fascinating Food & Wine Scene

Trail-blazing Californian Chef Stuart Brioza explored the Niseko region and other parts of Hokkaido as part of an adventure and gastronomy tour with Niseko Tourism this month.

Over 14-days Brioza and his family visited farms and primary producers around Niseko and as far north as Rishiri Island, meeting the people behind the productions at dozens of locations.

The tour aimed to highlight the region’s diverse food bounty, tell the stories of Hokkaido’s fascinating food scene, and enjoy plenty of outdoor activities along the way.

It culminated with an 8-course feast in Niseko that Stuart and his wife prepared, with each course featuring ingredients discovered and collected along the journey (photos and details available).

Brioza is a James Beard Award-winning chef with 2 Michelin stars to his name.

With a profound belief in the power of nature to inspire cuisine, Brioza has become a pioneer in the American and Californian food scenes.

His success story underscores the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and forging a closer connection to the natural world.

Throughout his career he has continually urged the food industry to embrace sustainable practices by “drawing inspiration from the oceans, mountains, and fields that surround us”.

Accompanying Brioza were his wife and award winning pastry chef Nicole, their son Jasper, and the owners of Niseko’s renowned Bar Gyu+, Ioanna Morelli, and Hisashi Watanabe.

The team cycled through the picturesque vineyards of Yoichi, sampling the region’s finest wines with the owner of the Niseko boutique wine shop, Cave de Bambou, Chiku Masahiro.

They visited the Niseko Distillery, organic farm Lalala Farm, and the famous Niseko View Plaza for all the freshest produce.

They were also able to enjoy the Hanazono Tree Trekking, and experienced the thrill of Hanazono ZipFlight, one of the longest ziplines in the world and the longest in Japan.

Brioza and his entourage travelled with new Niseko Tourism member Kammui, a leading Japan-based outdoor experience platform offering personalised services, and providing exclusive benefits to its guests.

The 8-course meal was hosted by Chalet Sena, managed by Taiga Niseko (pictures and information available).

Niseko’s Summerlife magazine interviewed Brioza at the end of the trip and will include a feature article in its 2024 magazine.