Following the Kobe earthquake in January 1995, Japan once again woke up to a devastated landscape. Buildings, roads, factories… everything had been destroyed. But as always, the Japanese people kept their heads high and focused on the future. When it came to rebuilding, many people realised that they still had one precious asset: culture! Culture crosses the centuries and constitutes the essential life force that enables nations to survive anything.
The Shimada family wanted to make their contribution to the safeguarding and promotion of Japanese culture and created the Tabizuru Foundation, which supports cultural projects, particularly in the museum domain. It also publishes a magazine with a circulation of 3,000, distributed in the lounges of Japan Airlines, the Mitsubishi Bank in Tokyo, the National Museum of Tokyo and in a wide variety of cultural sites, museums and national parks…
The foundation has a profound sense of the universal nature of culture as one of the assets of humanity and has gradually extended its action. Mr Bungo Shimada, who heads it up, has forged ties with UNESCO, integrating the World Heritage Museum+ campaign. More specifically, his ambitious project involves highlighting the strengths of the culinary art, which draws from our cultural heritage to build the future. The spirit of Bocuse d’Or appeals to him greatly, since it requires chefs to attain excellence by focusing creation around their own culinary culture. So it was a natural step for him to approach Bocuse d’Or Winners who are a so symbolic of the message of his foundation.
In more concrete terms, Mr Shimada is working on a project for the creation of an International Chefs’ Cultural Centre as a place for exchange and for training the chefs of the world. Its mission is to build a global future, open to others while safeguarding the cultural heritage of each region. The Foundation has been in contact with our partner “A la Carte Formation” for a long time with this goal in mind, and it has now become a partner of Bocuse d’Or Winners, giving them a prominent place within the project. This centre is expected to open in the magnificent Château de Belesbat (Boutigny sur Essonne in the Paris region), which belongs to the Shimada family.
Mr Bungo Shimada is also very sensitive to the commitment Bocuse d’Or Winners have made to Babyloan in the field of solidarity micro-credit, a mindset that is in line with his own actions.