Tyson Cole is not your average sushi chef. Born in Sarasota, Florida, he began his career as a dishwasher at an Austin sushi place called Kyoto (now closed). Austin seems an unlikely place for any sushi restaurant—it's a solidly land-locked city with a tiny Japanese population—but that's exactly where Cole received much of his training. After learning enough Japanese to convince Takehiko Fuse to hire him at one of Austin's top sushi restaurants, Musashino, Cole went on to travel to Japan with Fuse, and to train at Bond Street in NYC.
In 2003, Cole opened Uchi in Austin, serving Japanese food with a global twist. Two years later, he was named one of Food and Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs, and by 2011 Cole collected four James Beard nominations (and a 2011 win) for Best Chef: Southwest.
DID YOU KNOW?
Cole was once fired for giving away a free dessert. He was rehired after the manager realized that he had given it away to Denzel Washington.