Me & My Car: a chef and her (four-wheeled) tools
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We catch up with Sachie Nomura; TV chef, author, businesswoman, and director of Auckland cookery school Sachie's Kitchen
What are you driving?
This is the new 2020 Lexus RX, and I am a proud Lexus ambassador. I have a long family history with the brand and Toyota. My father worked for Toyota in Japan for 45 years, my brother makes engines for Toyota, and I was born in Aichi — the home of Toyota.
What do you like about the RX?
I love the face and the front grille. The design is sharp, current, smart and the perfect Japanese aesthetic. Japanese value quietness and efficiency, and the RX provides that — not to mention famous Japanese reliability.
What feature do you like most?
The seats’ heat and cool function.
How does it suit your lifestyle?
I’m always on the go with food-related activities, so I need the boot space. I also need to be able to fit in my two-and-a-half year old Zach’s bags, toys, scooter, helmet, snacks and, of course, him.
If you were to describe this car as a famous person?
George Clooney. Elegant, smooth and high-class.
Anything else in your garage?
My toolset, my electric smoker (amazing for home-smoked salmon) and children’s sports gears.
What do you keep in your Lexus?
A nappy bag and snacks. I’m always on the go — snacks for me and my little one. My husband can get his own. We also have an Anpanman picnic blanket; essential for the summer. Anpanman is a children’s cartoon character in Japan that my son is obsessed with.
How often do you clean it?
Once a month at the Lexus dealership. It gets cleaned while I enjoy coffee in the lounge where I can unwind.
Favourite road trip in this Lexus?
Driving to the Matakana markets is a pleasure in the RX.
A $500 Toyota Corona that I bought from a friend 20 years ago. It was burgundy and it was the first car I had owned. It was reliable, had a great engine and didn’t break down. Most importantly, it kept me safe. I drove it for five years, so $100 a year was good value.
Next car you intend buying?
I’ll stay with Lexus forever. The RX works so well for me and my family I don’t think we’ll even change the model.
Who introduced you to cars?
I was born into a Toyota family, so cars have been a daily topic since I was little. I learnt formally — enrolling into a driving school in Japan. I got my licence in 21 days.
Any differences between driving in Japan and NZ?
New Zealand roads are considerably wider, so it’s easier to drive here with extra space. However, the big difference I’ve found is that there are more cyclists here; so I have to be more alert. Also roundabouts are a newish concept in Japan, so understanding those rules from the road code had to be learnt.
How would you describe your driving style?
I don’t know whether I should say this, but I love speed. However, my RX is able to project the speed on the windshield — which helps me control my urges.
I am driving my dream car. I always wanted to have a Lexus SUV.
Favourite movie car scene?
Red 2 with Bruce Willis. Helen Mirren is driving in an action scene. She opens the door as she’s driving full speed towards Bruce Willis and he finishes his shooting and jumps into the car at the same time. So cool.
On a sunny Sunday morning where do you head for a drive?
I love to drive to farmers markets, so Coatesville market to forage and eat seasonal food.
Your thoughts on electric and driverless vehicles?
I have a fear of driverless vehicles. I’m a control freak and I don’t think I could let AI or a machine control my life. Perhaps with time but not yet. Regarding electric, I love driving hybrids because of the fuel economy but I don’t see enough electric infrastructure to feel comfortable with the amount of distances I have to drive without running out of power.