Jonathan Berguig, 40, is the owner of Citron, a Parisian-style cafe in Tokyo’s trendy Gaienmae neighborhood. A pioneer of the capital’s growing vegetarian dining scene, Citron focuses on serving affordable, healthy French home cooking while also promoting animal welfare.
1. What first brought you to Japan? I first arrived in Tokyo in 2004, when I was sent over from Paris by the company I was working for, in the banking industry. After 10 years dealing with financial markets, I decided to start an adventure in entrepreneurship by opening Citron in Aoyama.
2. When did you learn to cook? Did anyone teach you? My mom’s home cooking was my inspiration. She used to bake quiches every Sunday for lunch, and she’s a remarkable gourmet. All our recipes are based on her traditional French home cooking, we just turned them into fun vegetarian dishes. My mother actually came to Tokyo before the grand opening to train the kitchen staff, making sure the recipes were perfect.