“Respect the purity of the initial idea”

Founder of the Ramen shops UMAMIDO, Guy started his business after having being an apprentice in Japan for six months to master the art of Ramen, and dig himself into the Wabi philosophy.

The word Umamido, meaning 'the way of the savory", perfectly describes what it's all about: taste, cooking with beautiful products, served with integrity. Food for the soul.

UMAMIDO is experiencing a vital success. 7 ramen shops in Belgium. With a first international expansion in Switzerland. And more to come!

UMAMIDO invited Studio Corkinho in 2018 to re-consider and curate the interior setting in Leuven. Today, they are building the future with a new identity to serve "honest ramen".

Guy opened his doors of Umamido Antwerp Zuid to have some creative chat about the spirit of Japanese aesthetics and his passion for materials.

Value chosen by Guy : IMPERFECT PERFECTION

1/ The last time you used / heard / experienced this word?

Everyday. In my cooking. This contrast functions as a whole. It allows to fight against the rigidity of seeking for perfection. It pushes to let go the idea behind perfection, and let the personal touch intervene in the process.
I find my inspirations in the WABISABI philosophy. The aesthetics of ageing, to let texture grow spontaneously, leave the history present in an object, moment or space. To allow the subject to carry its heritage.

2/ What is the inherent emotion you feel in this word?

On one side, perfection is the masculine force, the purpose, the stiff, unchanged status.
On the other hand, imperfection is the continuous, the alive, the soft, the organic, the movement. The beauty I feel more connected to.

3/ Which object / shape do you see in this word?

Furniture I hearted from my parents. Don’t really know from which period, but the texture makes me feel home. A particular art deco uniqueness. Someone asked me to paint it over. I got a heart attack. Why hiding something unique, and replace its beauty by something artificial?

4/ How is this word related to you / your work?

Continuously. My work is strongly related to this ying yang principle. A constant conscious realisation of what is happening. Respecting the openness to let it happen. And not acting in fear with the idea : “I need to control what is happening.” Let balance grow and witness the beauty of nature.

5/ Which material would you associate with this word?

Walnut wood. I recognise myself in this material. I use it in my restaurants. The depth of its color. The randomness of its flame. The knots. Complete balance shaped by nature.

6/ Thinking about cork, can you imagine an object linked to this word?

I think about the bedroom. Some nice bold bed frame. To leave your mattress upon it. Very natural. With its acoustic sensation to dim the space, and encounter a warm feeling. Would be even nicer with a floating effect, to emphasise the light weight of the material.

7/ Which word / value / quote is omnipresent in your life ... to pass on.


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