San Francisco: Death of a Master Chef

Masataka Kobayashi was a curious mix of cultures. He was a Japanese chef who specialized in exquisite French dishes at some of America's finest restaurants. The son of a Tokyo food dealer, he went to Switzerland at age 16 to learn the art of French cuisine. Years later in New York, Kobayashi ("Masa" to his friends) transformed Le Plaisir into one of the city's most prestigious restaurants. In 1981 he became master chef at the Auberge du Soleil in California's Napa Valley. Two years later, he opened Masa's in San Francisco, a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!