Benjamin Flatt（Minshuku Flatt’s）
My name is Ben Flatt, and I’m the owner and chef at Flatt’s in Noto. I moved here in 1996 from Australia and opened a minshuku with my wife in her hometown of Hanami, Noto-cho in 1997.
Prior to living in Japan, I had been working as a head chef at an Italian restaurant in Sydney. Our minshuku specialises in “Noto Italian” food, using fresh ingredients from our own farm and from the local area.
“Noto is a treasure trove of delicious foods, making it perfect for chefs.”
Not the Japan I Expected…
The first town I ever visited in Japan was Hanami. When I was in Australia, I always visualized Japan as a place where everyone ate sushi, lived in tiny apartments and travelled on packed trains. When I came to Noto, I realized how wrong my mental image of Japan had been. What I found were large houses, lots of land, few people and an incredible food culture being handed down from generation to generation. I was excited to learn about Noto’s traditional food culture. From there, I began to introduce traditional Japanese food ingredients into my style of cuisine utilizing Italian cooking techniques, which evolved into the food we prepare today.
Fondness for the Food, Culture and Old-fashioned Environment
Noto is a true chef’s paradise. From the purity of the Noto water comes tasty koshi-hikari rice, from the sea the abundance of seafood, shellfish and seaweed and from the mountains the wild vegetables and fresh herbs. All four seasons can be enjoyed by both me as the chef creating the dishes and by all guests to Flatt’s dining on the region’s specialities. Of particular interest to me are Noto’s traditional fermented foods and the food culture. My wife and I enjoy making pickles and fermented delicacies and teaching our guests about the traditional life here in Noto.
This is Where You’ll Find the Real Japan
If you want to see the real Japan, with a strong food culture, where the locals still enjoy traditional country life and colourful festivals, then come to Noto. Part of the charm is getting here. I want to show my guests the delights of Noto, through our food and our hospitality.