Takashi Yagihashi / Takashi

A step inside Takashi, the brainchild of world-renowned Chef Takashi Yagihashi, and you’ll quickly realize that you’re not in Tokyo anymore, Toto.

Chat Chow TV sat down with the long-standing favorite (and a Bravo TV Top Chef Masters contender) at his eponymous restaurant in Chicago’s popular Bucktown.

Chef Takashi has come full circle in his career, the culmination of which has led to the creation of this untraditional Japanese eatery.

The chef’s foray into cooking started as a tale of necessity, helping out in the kitchen and washing dishes to make ends meet. After a move to Tokyo, Takashi realized he didn’t want to put out his culinary flame.

Gathering skills as he went, Takashi trained in Tokyo and arrived in Chicago after he jumped on an opportunity to open two Japanese restaurants. “Then somehow I stayed,” Takashi recalls. And that’s when things got interesting. “I changed my direction. I had been cooking Japanese food but I changed to French cooking. So since then, I’ve been cooking, I think, more than 20 years I’ve been cooking French food.”

It was this delicious change of direction that turned industry heads. Takashi was recognized for his innovative Japanese-French inventions with a coveted James Beard Award during his tenure at Tribute in Detroit.

His Chicago establishment ventures back to Takashi’s Japanese roots. Its unique appeal stems from the Japanese tasting menu, referred to as Kaiseki. Expect customary dishes with uncustomary ingredients, like the Japanese steamed egg custard with seared foie gras, Matsutake mushroom and shrimp.

Watch the video above to see what makes Takashi’s succulent twist on Japanese so award winning (and why he’s just a delightful chef in general). Kampai!


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