Team

Claudio Liu

Founder

Born in 1982 in China, in the Zhejiang region of China, he spent his childhood in Correggio, in the Italian region of Emilia. At 18 he moved to Milan and started to work, alongside his father Xue Zhen, in the restaurant Acquario. Deep down he started to develop an almost religious admiration for Japanese cuisine and its traditional cult for high-quality ingredients. In 2007, at the age of 24, Claudio opened IYO, the first contemporary Japanese restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star in Italy. But the dream wasn’t over yet, in 2019 he opened in the heart of the Porta Nuova area the traditional sushi counter IYO Omakase and the boundless cuisine restaurant AALTO awarded with a Michelin star in the 2021 edition of the Guide. Most of all, three concepts drive him: commitment, passion and determination.

Takeshi Iwai

Chef

Born in 1978 in Ibaraki, Japan, after graduating in Economics, he decided to pursue his passion for cooking. He worked four years with Toru Hayashi, ambassador of Italian cuisine in Japan. In 2007 he bought a one-way ticket to Italy. So began his journey through the most diverse kitchens: he refined his technique alongside Adriano Baldassarre (Tordomatto (Zagarolo), (La Madia, Licata), Anthony Genovese (Il Pagliaccio, Roma), Massimiliano Alajmo e Silvio Giavedoni (Ristorante Quadri, Venezia), Luciano Monosilio (Pipero Al Rex, Roma). In 2015 he moved to Gaggiano, on the outskirts of Milan, as chef of the farm restaurant Ada e Augusto, where he expresses his personal cooking philosophy with ingredients from the garden and the farms. Since June 2020 he has been chef of AALTO, the boundless cuisine restaurant opened by Claudio Liu.

Nathalie Communod

Communication & PR Manager

Born in Aosta in 1984, Nathalie moved to Milan to study Communication at IULM, University of Languages and Communication. After graduating, she chose to apply her newly-gained knowledge to the spheres of Food & Travel as well as Cultural Heritage. In 2018 she met Claudio Liu who radically threw her into fine dining. She was immediately intrigued by this world and applied her usual enthusiastic approach to this new role. Since 2019, she has overseen and coordinated all communication and PR activities of IYO, AALTO and IYO Omakase. Meticulous and well organized, she never lets go until the results have been reached.