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INTERVIEW: Chef Kazuo Yoshida On The Hamptons Omakase By Uni King Experience

Shakir Philippe

Omakase by Uni King has taken up a summer residency at Old Stove Pub. (Courtesy Photo)

Omakase by Uni King, a summer pop-up concept by renowned Chef Kazuo Yoshida, is officially open for the summer at the Old Stove Pub in Sagaponack, offering the best of New York City's sushi scene out east. Chef Yoshida is currently a partner at Juku and former Executive Chef at Jewel Bako.

Chef Yoshida has created an exquisite menu that showcases his love of the jewels from the sea, while paying tribute to his favorite, the Uni, hence his nickname, "Uni King".

He prides himself on sourcing the highest quality fish possible. In order to retain that freshness, a limited number of items will be available Wednesday through Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. For pick-up orders, customers will have the ability to place orders online and the option to dine in the expansive outdoor area at Old Stove Pub.

I spoke with Chef Yoshida to learn how he's become known as the "Uni King", what brings him to the Hamptons, and the magic behind his esteemed culinary expertise.

First and foremost, how did the nickname "Uni King" come to be?

KY: I usually have seven or eight different types of Uni, including aged Uni, to offer my customers. Because of this, they started calling me "Uni King" and it stuck.

How did the Omakase by Uni King and Old Stove Pub partnership form?

KY: Around 70 percent of my clients are in the Hamptons for the summer and have asked me when I'll open in the Hamptons. In April, I began looking for somewhere to open in the Hamptons and finally came across Old Stove Pub. I'm excited to be serving sushi and smiles to those in the Hamptons this summer at our Old Stove Pub pop-up.

In what ways has COVID-19 affected your business and what can people expect?

KY: This is one of the most difficult times for all hospitality businesses, especially in NYC. But, people still want to have good dining experiences and I'm trying to give all my clients the cuisine they love, that will put a smile on their face and give them a gleam of hope during these hard times.

How will the menu of Omakase by Uni King be different from what you prepared as Executive Chef at Juku, Jewel Bako, and Williamsburg's 1 or 8?

KY: The menu at Omakase by Uni King is almost the same menu that I'm doing at Juku in NYC right now for take-out and outdoor dining, but I do incorporate some local fish from the Hamptons into the menu at Omakase by Uni King.

Since you are known for your elegant presentation and superior sourcing, how do the origins of each ingredient play into the planning of each dish?

KY: I'm really inspired by art and fashion, and it definitely influences the way I present my food. I like to plate my dishes in a way that is artful and delicate, making sure the food is just as visually appealing as it is fresh and delicious to taste. I'm still learning everyday and am always thinking of ways to evolve and innovate the way I present my cuisine.

Old Stove Pub is located at 3516 Montauk Highway in Sagaponack. For more information, visit www.omakasehamptons.com.

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