Divorce, with taunts in between, in the Kabuki group | Fortune


For 21 years they were a well avenue couple. But the chef Ricardo Sanz and his partner, José Antonio Aparicio, of the Kabuki group, have split pears, with accusations involved. In the absence of a decision on the corporate distribution of the Kabuki group, made up of three companies – Kabuki Wellington, Kabuki Global Partners and Peripuy, the latter owner of President Carmona’s Kabuki in Madrid – the partners try to clarify what the future of the restaurants they will be They have scattered around Madrid, Malaga, Tenerife, Valencia, Lisbon or Miami, with the crown jewels at stake: Kabuki y Kabuki Wellington, restaurants with which this concept of successful Japanese cuisine began, which they expanded to brands such as Kōmori, Kabuki Raw, Kirei, Nihau and Kuenko, as well as an industrial Japanese food service. The group has 300 employees and this year it expects to invoice seven million euros. A sweet cake to share and a professional split that both parties revealed last week.

On the one hand, Ricardo Sanz, issued a statement in which he claimed to be the founder of Kabuki, in addition to creating his own gastronomic stamp with your nameand stay, according to the note sent to the media, with the restaurants of the Hotel Wellington (Madrid), the hotel complex The Ritz-Carlton Abama (Tenerife), Finca Cortesín (Málaga) and Las Cortes Double Tree by Hilton (Madrid) in addition to the project Areas in airports.

However, this appears to not be the case. At a shareholders’ meeting of the company Peripuy, held last Friday, at the request of Ricardo Sanz, who owns 10.56% of the share capital, different agreements were taken, all of them approved by 89.44% of the partners, that put a little light on this business schism.

In the first place, it was agreed to maintain the Kabuki brand for the operation of Presidente Carmona’s restaurant, as well as to confirm José Antonio Aparicio as sole administrator, in addition to requesting Ricardo Sanz to retract his statementn that he is the founder of Kabuki, since the founding of the group coincides with the constitution of Peripuy, carried out in January 2000 by Javier Pérez Mochales and José Antonio Aparicio Puig. The statement details that these are the “true founders of Kabuki”, because Sanz was hired as a cook months later, and it was not until 2004 that he first appears in the constitution of a group company.

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At the aforementioned meeting, Sanz is also invited to retract his statement that he dismissed Aparicio as sole administrator of Kabuki Wellington, “because he could not and cannot do so legally since with the percentage of capital stock [37,5%] possessing this, makes it impossible for him rest of the partners reach 66.66%, which according to the statutes is necessary to dismiss the administrator. The rest of the shares, 62.5%, are in the hands of Sanz, after keeping the part of the third partner, Álvaro Urcola, but also, according to the aforementioned statement, Aparicio voluntarily resigned as administrator at the shareholders’ meeting held on June 30, 2021, according to public deed before the notary Carlos Ruiz Rivas Hernando.

“Never, until May of this year, had Ricardo and I discussed, and that’s when he gets most of the Kabuki Wellington society, and now I don’t know where all this is going to take us, because he wants to go somewhere and I to another. What was clear is that the group was stagnant “, says Aparicio, engineer by profession, who signed Sanz as a chef after placing an advertisement in the press, as he needed a kitchen manager for the Presidente Carmona restaurant, which he had just opened, together with his partner, Javier Pérez, in 2000, after having made a market study and observe that there was room to develop a Japanese restaurant brand.

“Neither he nor I had experience in hospitality, and from the first moment we became friends. He began to create and was a riot of creativity, but in this whole process the team of cooks was decisive, to which we gave them freedom, and the room, because for me the room manager is like my sales director ”, acknowledges Aparicio , which ensures that the distribution of restaurants has not yet been carried out, due to the fact that they have contracts pending renewal with several hotels. “We are in a moment of transition and we do not know what will happen in a month and a half.”

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For his part, Ricardo Sanz, creator of the Iberian sushi concept, assures that he will continue on his way, trying to reach an agreement to divide up the assets. “My job is what it is, I am the chef and I have my patented dishes, they are about 40 or 50 iconic dishes, and they belong to me,” he explains in a telephone conversation, while reiterating that he did not know that the name of the group was already there. registered. “I am the artist and I have left my skin in these years”.

The other part assures that the Kabuki brand is so strong, that “nobody talks about the cook, because we created a kitchen model that would work and that would make the customer leave just as happy if he was not there,” adds Aparicio, who attributes the achievements, including the group’s four Michelin-starred restaurants, to the team’s work. “When we created Kabuki we thought of a concept that was not born and died with the creator, so we developed a brand to give continuity to the project, since as often happens with creators, it also happened to Ferran Adrià, from the tenth year they stagnate ”, says the businessman, who believes that creativity is developed as a team and that the“ difference between a good restaurant and an exceptional one is in the service ”.

Regarding the group’s possible debts, Aparicio acknowledges that it has granted 1.5 million euros in ICO credits, “with very low monthly installments, which can be easily dealt with with the turnover we have.” And he wants to clarify that the accounts have been approved by Ricardo Sanz himself as a shareholder of the company.

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The Kabuki group will inaugurate Kuenko in Miami Central Station in the coming months, with a kitchen concept of about $ 10 per person, which will be followed by new openings at other stations in the United States, a Kirei at Charles de Gaulle airport, in Paris, in addition to a Kabuki restaurant, which will open in December in a space of 1,000 square meters at the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz in Lisbon, with a concept of kitchen and bar with cocktails. “Our pending issue was to get out of Spain, and we have developed concepts ranging from 10 dollars to 220 euros.”

In 2022, the group plans to reach 10 million in turnover, while Ricardo Sanz, for his part, estimates that it will enter three million euros. “The money in the end makes things difficult, but I keep the most important thing, that Ricardo and I did something, as happened to Steve Jobs, that we did not know how to do. And we even went together to Japan, five years after having Our first Japanese restaurant opened, because we had never been there before. We were that daring, “recalls Aparicio.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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