Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi
- 1-11-1 Pacific Century Place, Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-6277, Japan
Director of Restaurants and Bar
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2017
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
- Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong; Maison Rostang, Paris, France; Restaurant Le Chapeau Rouge, Dijon, France; Château de Gilly, Burgundy, France; Starbucks, Madrid, Spain; Ritz Hotel, Paris, France; Le Buerehiesel, Strasbourg, France
- Saumur, France
- Bachelor’s degree from “l’Ecole Supérieure de Cuisine Française” – Restaurant Manager and Chef (Ferrandi – ESCF)
- French, English Spanish
Stephane Rabot, Director of Restaurants and Bar, draws on his Michelin-starred credentials to tailor a warm, inviting ambience at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi. Raised in Paris, the other gourmet capital of the world, Stephane has spent more than 15 years elevating the dining experience at celebrated restaurants across France, Hong Kong and now Tokyo. “In our business, we love making people happy,” he says. “To do so, we must complete a number of steps with meticulous attention. But it all feels worth it when a guest tells you what a wonderful time they had.”
During annual trips to see his grandparents in Saumur, a wine-growing region in the Loire Valley, young Stephane was surrounded by a passion for good food and eating together. On weekends, leisurely lunches spilled over into large family dinners: “lunch would go on from 1:00 to 6:00 pm, then we would be back again at the dining table from 8:00 pm until midnight,” he reminisces fondly.
Back home in Paris, he developed an early appreciation for fine dining. When he was five, his father asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up and pat came the reply: a Michelin inspector. “The wish lasted only until my mother told me that Michelin inspectors don’t usually finish their meals,” he explains with a smile. “But my dream of joining the world of gastronomy remained.”
While earning his degree from hospitality school, Stephane started his career as a cook, developing his skills under the tutelage of masters such as Antoine Westermann at Le Buerehiesel (3 Michelin stars) and Michel Roth at The Ritz in Paris (1 Michelin star). “A Michelin-starred kitchen can be tough and unforgiving. Despite that, these chefs made time to teach their teams with love and patience,” he says, adding that he tries to implement this same approach with his own team.
After spending a few years in the kitchen, Stephane felt a desire to move closer to the guest experience, bringing him to the front of the house – an environment he fell in love with instantly. After a stint at a coffee shop in Madrid – “where I learned to speak Spanish” – he became assistant maître d’hôtel at Château de Gilly in Burgundy, and then head waiter at Restaurant Le Chapeau Rouge in Dijon.
In 2008, he joined the team at Maison Rostang, a Parisian icon that has retained its Michelin standing for more than 40 years. Stephane would spend a decade at this illustrious establishment, working his way up to maître d’hôtel as he imbibed valuable lessons from Madame Rostang herself. “She taught me to welcome guests like they are friends coming to your home,” he explains, noting that this style of service is also reflected at Maison Marunouchi and SÉZANNE. “Fine dining isn’t meant to be stiff or intimidating. Whether making recommendations or sharing stories, our team puts people at ease.”
Stephane joined the Four Seasons family in 2017, coming on board as Restaurant Director of Caprice at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, where he worked closely with the team to move the needle from two to three Michelin stars – quite a feat given there are only 135 such establishments in the world. Once this ambitious goal was achieved, he began to seek new pastures – and Marunouchi beckoned. “I was so excited to learn that the dining renovation was being led by Daniel,” he says. “In Hong Kong, I used to live right across from his previous restaurant, Belon.”
What is the most important lesson he has learned? “To be humble, and to keep your head on your shoulders,” he answers promptly. “It doesn’t matter how many awards your restaurant has won. You still have to uphold your standards and strive to improve every single day.”
When he is not working, you are likely to find Stephane spending time with his wife and child. The family loves to travel and discover new places: “even if we have just a day to spare, we get into our car and set off.” Among their visits across Japan, Osaka holds a special place in his heart, thanks to its profusion of hidden gems – from jewel-like wine bars and under-the-radar restaurants, to the wild world of karaoke bars.