Nobuyuki Matsuhisa - known to the world simply as "Nobu" - is the acclaimed and highly influential chef proprietor of Nobu and Matsuhisa restaurants all over the globe. Nobu was born in Saitama, Japan, the son of a lumber merchant who died in a traffic accident when the future chef was just seven years old. He traces the beginnings of his professional ambition to the day his older brother took him to a sushi restaurant for the first time. Young Nobu found himself fascinated by everything about the environment. He knew then he was destined for a career in the kitchen. After graduating from high school, Nobu found a live-in job at a sushi restaurant in Tokyo called Matsuei. When he was 24 years old, Nobu accepted an offer from one of his customers that took him to Lima, Peru to open a restaurant. The impact of his time in Peru cannot be overstated. Nobu began weaving Peruvian influences into his dishes - the beginnings of his signature style. After three years, irreconcilable differences over food cost led Nobu to part with his associates. After a brief stint in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nobu returned to Japan. Upon returning to Japan, he had an opportunity to open a restaurant in Alaska, which he took. Unfortunately the restaurant burned to the ground during one of his rare nights away from the restaurant. Broken but not beaten, and with debts to pay on his ruined Alaska enterprise, Nobu went to Los Angeles on the advice of a friend. He took a job at a sushi bar, working and using his income to make good on his commitments. No less than nine years later, after earning his way back to solvency, he opened his own restaurant Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills in 1987. Matsuhisa was an instant success and became a magnet for food lovers and celebrities alike. It was here that his longtime friendship and business relationship with Robert De Niro began. It was at De Niro's urging that they opened Nobu in New York City in 1994 with restaurateur Drew Nieporent. Like Matsuhisa, Nobu was a hit.