I grew up in Yokohama, Japan, and worked for several multi-billion-dollar American bio-tech and high-tech companies traveling all over the world before changing my career. Before I moved to San Francisco, I didn't realize many Americans don't know real Japanese food, including the history behind them, and why we cook and eat the way we do. When I realized this, I decided to provide the information in the best way I could: by teaching how to cook.
In 2004, I moved on to open my catering company, Mari’s Catering, Inc., specializing in Japanese and California cuisine to satisfy the needs for an on-site Sushi chef catering. I also opened the first Izakaya in San Francisco, Sozai Restaurant and Sake Lounge, otherwise known as Izakaya Sozai. Sozai was voted Best Japanese Food San Francisco by Citysearch in 2008. In 2009, I opened Nombe and served as the Managing Culinary Director there - Nombe received Top 100 honors from the SF Chronicle (2010), a Michelin Recommended acknowledgement (2011), an SF Bay Guardian Best of the Bay Editor's Pick (2013), and was named one of the Top 6 Izakaya (Japanese gastropub) restaurants in the US by Bon Appetit. In July 2013, I introduced Ramenburger, which created 1 hour wait on SF Street Food Festival as well as Outside Lands.
I have been teaching how to make sushi ever since I started my catering company in 2004, which was also featured by Sunset Magazine in 2013. Currently, I am concentrating on teaching how to cook Japanese food including Sushi, Ramen, Ramenburger, and Izakaya bites.