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December 2023

Natsuko Perromat & Julie Renaud

Furifuri, the japanese condiment made in France

by Milena Radoman
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Natsuko Perromat du Marais from Nice is taking a bold gamble by exporting furikake made in France to the Land of the Rising Sun. This Franco-Japanese woman, who has worked for over 15 years with some of the world’s greatest chefs, including 10 years with Alain Ducasse, has been a fan of Japan’s favourite seaweed and sesame seed condiment since her childhood in Tokyo. She used it a lot during the Covid crisis to brighten up family dishes. “I then realised that all the furikake I was buying in Japanese grocery shops were unfortunately full of additives and preservatives.” 

So, with her friend Julie Renaud, a pharmacist and nutrition expert, she created the first French brand of 100% natural furikake in 2021. “We called upon Michelin-starred Japanese chef Keisuke Matsushima, an expert in umami flavours, to create recipes using Breton seaweed and spices from Alsace (based on lemon, chilli, and mild curry spices).” 

A French Tech grant, a prize from the PACA region’s Entreprendre network, and a crowdfunding campaign on Ulule at the end of 2022 enabled us to launch an e-shop at the beginning of 2023. The recipes appeal to top chefs: “Cyril Lignac uses it in his restaurants, and Christophe Cussac offers a tofu bao with Furifuri at the Met Café,” adds Natsuko. A great source of pride for this disciple of Alain Ducasse, whom she first met when he opened his restaurant in New York and has since supported in building his gastronomic empire around the world: “He’s our number one ambassador. He gives his children Furifuri...” 

This condiment is available in 140 sales outlets in France. After tackling the Belgian and Swiss markets, the entrepreneur has set her sights on Japan, developing new products (including a ginger recipe) and distribution in pharmacies for this alternative to salt. 

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