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Bio Chef Victor Planas

Victor Planas, partner and executive chef of Kensei Contemporary Japanese, has more than 22 years of experience in Japanese cuisine. At Kensei he applies his great knowledge in this field to perfection. To create a menu full of creativity and excellence that makes it completely unique. His dishes are prepared with ingredients of the highest quality – including the sensational Wagyu beef – amplifying the infinite range of colours, flavours and aromas that define the master lines of Japanese cuisine.

Victor Planas began his culinary journey at the age of 16 in his native Barcelona. After receiving academic training in cooking and catering, he embarked on his professional career, and began to train and work in some of the best kitchens in Barcelona, and around the world.

After this period, he decided to go to London to learn English but, at the same time, almost unexpectedly, he began to meet other gastronomic parameters far from Mediterranean cuisine. And it is there, in the British capital, is where he has his first contact with Asian cuisine.

After his time in London, and with more than just the language learnt, he returned to Spain and began what what would probably define his career. He joined the Kabuki group, a national reference and pioneer in Japanese cuisine, where he spent the next 12 years, and became one of the executive chefs.

It was there that Víctor fell in love with the purest Japanese cuisine. During this period, he advanced enormously and definitively in the deep knowledge of Japanese gastronomy. Insisting on travelling to Japan regularly, working in internships free of charge in exchange for the opportunity to train and lean from the very best masters of Japanese cuisine.

Even today Víctor is still in continuous contact with Japan and visits at every opportunity, almost as a kind of periodic ritual. In the last year he decided to change his life and, after moving to Miami to open several concepts in his previous company, with the arrival of the pandemic and the restrictions experienced in recent times, he returned to Tenerife. In his own words, “when I returned I knew that I didn’t want to leave the island any more. I feel that now Tenerife is my place in the world, and I want to introduce everyone to my own style of gastronomy.”

This is when his partnership with Robert Ng, founder and owner of one of the most successful gastronomic groups in the Canary Islands, Venture Restaurants, began.

They decided to create a gastronomic concept together that today takes shape as Kensei Contemporary Japanese, situated in one of the very best, luxury locations in the Canary Islands: The Hotel Bahía del Duque.

PRODUCT

Constantly search for the best product. With a very strong line of local ingredients, highlighting the excellent fish from the islands; Alfonsino, yellow tail, tuna and red snapper, for example, the chef’s favourites. At the same time looking for local farmers who are willing to accompany him in the search for new local products. As Víctor says “the microclimates we have in the Islands allow us to grow a huge variety of products that would be unthinkable in other parts of the world”.

Victor provides seeds to the local farmers for them to grow exactly the ingredients he requires, uniquely for Kensei restaurant, and receives fish delivery daily, direct from the fishing boats, to ensure the freshest quality and very best taste.

CREATIVITY

Applying to his creations the enormous and varied culinary background that he has acquired over the years and which allows him to move through very original territories at a gastronomic level. In his own words, “I am always looking to create gastronomic sensations starting from the Japanese tradition but without ever blocking the borders with other culinary traditions that I have had the opportunity to get to know; my Mediterranean base, the teachings of chefs such as Berasategui and others, and what I have seen and tasted in my different destinations.

CONTEMPORARY

Víctor advocates a contemporary gastronomic experience. A concept that rigorously follows the tradition of Japanese cuisine but adds small modern, avant-garde details that make it unique and different. You won’t find the staple, most ordered, Japanese dishes as found in other high end Japanese restaurants. At Kensei you are forced out of your comfort zone, and guided to try something new and exciting, something unique to Kensei and the outcome is one of surprise and delight. In Victors words “At Kensei I want my customers to have a good time, to have fun tasting and be surprised as they try each of our dishes. Dishes with very high levels of product and technique, ideal for sharing and commenting together at the table, whilst enjoy a pairing of cocktails, gourmet oriental whisky’s or gin’s or the excellent selection of wines guided by our sommelier. At Kensei it is about the whole experience”.

PRIVILEGED LOCATION

Obviously all this packed in one of the best locations on the Islands. Facing the Atlantic Ocean and inside the most emblematic luxury hotel in the Canary Islands, the Gran Hotel Bahía del Duque.