Who Killed Kobayashi?
When Legendary Chef Masataka Kobayashi was murdered in his Nob Hill apartment the culinary world went into mourning. Gastronomes raved about his delicate synthesis of California and classical French cuisine
Called “an absolute artist” and “a genius” by fellow master chefs he was considered the greatest chef in America.
Kobayashi, born in Japan, trained as a French chef in Europe and became a nouvelle cuisine superstar at New York’s three star Le Plasir restaurant. Masataka was considered so valuable that Le Plasir closed its doors when he left to run Napa Valley’s famed Auberge du Soleil.
In 1982 he opened his own restaurant, Masa’s in San Francisco, which instantly became the top restaurant in the city.
Eighteen months later, in the foggy early morning hours of Saturday November 13th 1984 Masataka left his restaurant and walked back to his apartment at 1111 Pine Street. Later that night neighbors heard shouts and sounds of a struggle, but a cursory check of the building revealed nothing unusual.
When Masa’s reopened on Tuesday, Kobayashi failed to show up, so his assistant went to his apartment. Just inside the blood-spattered apartment lay Masa`s body, his head crushed by repeated blows. Next to his body was his open briefcase; the .38 automatic he carried for protection was missing