Three-Starred Michelin Chef/Creator Masayoshi Takayama, arguably the world's most famous sushi chef, has humble roots. Indeed, before he was a master chef, he worked in his parents' business, a fish shop and a catering business, loading fish and delivering sashimi. His first professional restaurant experience was after he graduated from high school at Ginza Sushi-ko, a popular Tokyo restaurant, as dishwasher. This didn't last long, however, as he quickly moved his way up to sushi chef. By 1983 he had relocated to Los Angeles, where he worked in a few Japanese restaurants before opening his own, Ginza Sushi-ko in Beverly Hills. Here, Chef Masa made weekly trips back to Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market to ensure the ingredients at his restaurant were the freshest in the city. His strategy worked, as Ginza Sushi-ko won a coveted four-star review from the Los Angeles Times
. After that, the East Coast came calling, and by 2004 Chef Masa had opened Bar Masa and Masa in New York City's Time Warner Center, which also houses another notable restaurant, Per Se by Thomas Keller. Five years later, Chef Masa opened Bar Masa and Shaboo in Las Vegas. Because he can't be everywhere, he's turned the helm of his Beverly Hills restaurant over to his sous chef, Hiro Urasawa, and has put Executive Chef Drew Terp in charge of his kitchen in Las Vegas. Chef Terp, a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, has a variety of gastronomic skills that he learned while gracing the kitchens of Bar Masa, Masa and Alain Ducasse in New York; Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley; and Port O' Call Restaurant in Bermuda. Working alongside Chef Terp is Sushi Chef Takahiro Sakaeda, who is New Jersey bred but completely bi-cultural, and the man Masa chose to prepare his exquisite sushi creations. Click here
to read our exclusive interview with Chef Terp, which includes some of the secrets from Bar Masa's kitchen, or continue on to read the dinner menu.