Chef's Gallery

Shota Katagiri

WashokuLovers

Ichibandori’s Chef Shota started his career in a shop on a street in the middle of Osaka’s luxury district, Kitashinchi.

Chef Shota I learned a lot during my apprenticeship with Matsumoto in Osaka, then I moved to Kobe and worked in a hotel. I devoted myself to learning the foundations of cooking for five years in a Japanese style restaurant.

Chef Shota’s then went to Tokyo, where he gained a reputation at Yoshimura, a famous shop in the area. Throughout all of this time, he held a dream to travel outside of Japan, and so he went on a working holiday. In Australia, he started working at the restaurant Minato at Manly Beach.

He stayed at a well established restaurant, Shoroku, in Sydney for another seven years before moving onto his next dream – opening his own restaurant by age 30.

Chef Shota But actually I was a little late, I was 40 when I opened my own shop.

When asked what is most important for a chef, Chef Shota says it’s knowing one thing properly. Using one ingredient to produce different flavours is an important skill, and knowing how to handle each ingredient goes a long way in a kitchen. He also says having staff who understand the food and the meaning of good Japanese hospitality is critical for reaching the hearts of customers.

Washoku Lovers What’s most difficult about cooking washoku in Australia?

Chef Shota When I worked in Japan, if I found a delicious ingredient I could buy it easily. There wasn’t much trouble selecting ingredients. But here in Australia, I have to search for good ingredients before I start planning to cook anything. I decide on an ingredient and then decide on the best way to cook it.

Chef Shota’s cooking focuses on delicious ingredients with unique cooking methods. His food is always different and evolving, so even if it looks the same on the plate, you’ll be surprised the second time you eat something.

Washoku Lovers Do you have a message for our community?

Chef Shota Don’t be afraid of adding soy sauce, it brings many dishes together. If you choose to eat at a Japanese restaurant, I hope you enjoy the dishes that are so planned out and organised to showcase the flavour of the ingredients.

I also hope you visit my shop!

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