Over his 25‐year career, Chef Takashi Yagihashi has been lauded by consumers and critics alike for his exquisite ways of melding contemporary French, Asian, and American cuisine. A native of Mito, Japan, the self-taught Yagihashi was working in a local restaurant when the owner asked him to relocate to the States and work for him there; over the next several years, the young chef worked his way up the culinary ladder throughout Chicago. In 1993, he was named chef de cuisine and eventually partner at the four-star Ambria. In 1996, he was presented with an Executive Chef opportunity, and left Chicago to open Tribute in suburban Detroit. An instant classic, Tribute was on every "best of" list, including Gourmet's list of America's Top 50 Restaurants, Yagihashi was named one of America's ten "Best New Chefs" by Food & Wine (2000), and the esteemed James Beard Foundation selected him as "Best Chef: Midwest" in 2003. Yagihashi relocated to Las Vegas to become Executive Chef at Okada at the Wynn hotel in 2005 and under his lead, Bon Appetit named Okada "Best New Japanese Restaurant."
In late 2007, Yagihashi opened Takashi in Chicago's Bucktown neighborhood. Takashi was named "Best New Restaurant" by Chicago Magazine and one of ten "Best New Restaurants of the Year" by Esquire. He then opened Noodles by Takashi Yagihashi, which was named one of the "Five Best Noodle Shops in America" by Bon Appetit; in 2009, he published his first cookbook, Takashi's Noodles. Most recently, Takashi received its third consecutive Michelin star in 2013.
In late 2011, Slurping Turtle opened to instantaneous success and received a Michelin Bib Gourmand Award in 2013. Located in Chicago's River North neighborhood, Slurping Turtle offers Japanese comfort food, where delicate balance and respect for natural flavors continues to be a hallmark of his cooking style. Slurping Turtle has expanded to Ann Arbor, Michigan in Spring, 2014.
In 2012, Yagihashi competed in the fourth season of Top Chef Masters, participating in seven rounds of competition and ultimately winning the coveted "Fan Favorite" award. In Spring 2013, Yagihashi opened "Tabo Sushi by Takashi" in Chicago's Plum Market, a neighborhood store offering natural, organic, local, and specialty items. "Tabo Sushi by Takashi" features made-to-order restaurant-caliber cuisine and a variety of sushi rolls and maki, which are perfect for health-conscious foodies on the go.