What is Nobu Matsuhisa’s Net Worth?
Nobu Matsuhisa is a Japanese chef and restauranteur who has a net worth of $200 million. Nobu Matsuhisa runs a global culinary empire of high-end sushi restaurants in his name. Renowned for his fusion of traditional Japanese dishes with Peruvian ingredients, his signature creation is black cod in miso. In addition to his namesake restaurants, Nobu has also expanded into the international hospitality industry with upscale hotels. He owns the Matsuhisa Restaurants and Nobu Hospitality with his family as well as the Nobu Restaurants with Robert De Niro among others.
Nobu Matsuhisa was born on March 10, 1949 in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. He has two older brothers. When Nobu was seven, his father was killed in an automobile accident, and he was subsequently brought up by his mother. The family began traveling around the world following the patriarch’s death, exposing Nobu to a vast array of global cultures in all their beauties and deficiencies.
Following his graduation from high school, Nobu landed a job as a dishwasher at the Matsue sushi restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Eventually, he gained training as a sushi master there. Some seven years into his job, Nobu was invited by a regular customer of the restaurant, who was Japanese-Peruvian, to open a restaurant of his own in Peru. Heeding this advice, Nobu moved to Lima, Peru in 1973 and opened a Matsue restaurant with his sponsor. Because he was unable to locate many of the key ingredients he had used back home in Japan, Nobu was forced to improvise. As a result, he began cultivating his idiosyncratic cooking style combining Japanese and Peruvian cuisines.
After three years of operation, Nobu had to close his restaurant in Lima. He subsequently moved to Argentina, and then to Anchorage, Alaska, where he was able to open a new restaurant. Unfortunately, the restaurant burned down about two weeks after its opening due to an electrical fire. Relocating to Los Angeles, California in 1977, Nobu worked for a while at the Japanese restaurants Oshou and Mitsuwa.
In 1987, Nobu opened his first Matsuhisa restaurant in Beverly Hills, California. It went on to become one of the trendiest spots in town, as well as a favorite of celebrities. One of those celebrities, Robert De Niro, soon became Nobu’s enduring friend and business partner. A particularly big fan of the chef’s black cod in miso, the Oscar-winning actor convinced Nobu to expand his culinary empire to the East Coast. In a joint venture with De Niro – as well as investor Meir Teper and fellow restaurateur Drew Nieporent – Nobu opened his first Nobu-branded restaurant in New York’s Tribeca neighborhood in 1994. Three years after that, Nobu expanded overseas to London. The chain subsequently opened locations in Malibu, Tokyo, and Las Vegas. A Matsuhisa restaurant was also opened in Aspen, Colorado.
Nobu restaurants continued to open in locations around the world in the 21st century. Restaurants were added in cities such as Miami; Dallas; Dubai; Hong Kong; Waikiki; San Diego; Melbourne; Perth; Mexico City; Kuala Lumpur; and Chicago. Meanwhile, Matsuhisa-branded restaurants opened in cities including Denver, Munich, St. Moritz, Mykonos, and Paris.
After establishing his culinary empire, Nobu branched out into the hospitality industry, opening upscale hotels in places around the globe. Locations include Chicago, Las Vegas, London, Malibu, Warsaw, Perth, Barcelona, Manila, and Doha. Among the crown jewels of the hotel chain is the Nobu Hotel Miami Beach, which features Japanese architecture, panoramic ocean views, and cutting-edge appliances and amenities.
Nobu’s hotels have served as sites for his popular culinary event World of Nobu. The global festival brings in dozens of chefs from Nobu restaurants worldwide for events such as themed dinners, master classes, and tastings. Proceeds from World of Nobu go toward various philanthropic organizations.
Nobu has published numerous cookbooks over the years. As part of his commitment to philanthropy, funds raised through sales of his books are donated to different charities. Causes supported by Nobu have included natural disaster relief for victims of hurricanes and wildfires. Beyond cookbooks, Nobu also penned a memoir that was released in 2014.
Due to his high profile as a celebrity chef, Nobu has made some appearances in films. In 1995, he showed up alongside his real-life friend and business partner Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese’s crime film “Casino.” Later, Nobu had small parts in the spy comedy sequel “Austin Powers in Goldmember” and the period drama “Memoirs of a Geisha.”
Some environmental conservationists have criticized Nobu and his restaurants for selling Atlantic bluefin tuna, which was for a time an endangered species. The restaurant responded by putting a warning on its menus, an action that was widely considered insufficient by activists.
With his wife Yoko, Nobu has two adult daughters.