Age: 39. Why he's rising: Under his command, Tribute received four-star reviews in both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press; was named one of the most exciting new restaurants in the Midwest by The Chicago Tribune; featured in The New York Times. Training: Studied interior design at Tokyo Design School. Received on-the-job training in classical Japanese cooking; learned French cooking during a working tour of seven Parisian restaurants. Background: Native of Mito, Japan, helped open two suburban Chicago restaurants—The Akura and The Hirano—for a Japanese firm; learned the basics of French cooking at Les Plumes in Chicago; later cooked at Chicago's Yoshi's Cafe; became executive chef and managing partner at Chicago's Ambria. Cooking style: New American with French and Asian influences . Signature dish: Nori-crusted tuna with spicy buckwheat pasta and sauce chinois. What the critics say: "Takashi's French-Asian food is very, very complicated, yet ultimately serene . . . Presentation is food-as-museum-piece. . . And execution? Pure brilliance . . ."—The Detroit News Mentor: Yoshi Katumura of Yoshi Cafe and Gabino Sotelino of Ambria.
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