Nobuo Murakami, former chief chef at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, died of heart failure Tuesday morning at his home in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, his family said Thursday. He was 84.

Murakami, an expert on French cuisine, was born in Kanda in downtown Tokyo and joined the hotel in 1940 at the age of 18.

He went to Europe in 1955 to train at the Hotel Ritz in Paris before returning to Japan in 1958. He became chief chef at the Imperial Hotel in 1969.

As a pioneer of French and other Western cuisine in Japan, he oversaw dinners for athletes at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 and banquets for many state guests, including Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who made an official visit to Japan in 1975.

Murakami became senior managing director in charge of cooking at the hotel in 1994 and served as an adviser after retiring in 1996.

Murakami was decorated by the government with the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Rosette, in 1994.

Kyodo News

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