Interview: Chef Yoshi Migita of Miami Beach's Katsuya

'My mother inspired me to start cooking'

Yoshi Migita is the executive chef at Katsuya, Miami Beach, inside the Collins Avenue SLS South Beach. The hotel is a luxury accommodation and there are several restaurants in it. Katsuya, as the name suggests is a Japanese restaurant and a popular U.S. chain. It serves sushi and the other Japanese delicacies. 35-year-old Chef Migita is a bright, serious young man, who cooks wonderful food.

The Daily Meal: How did you get into cooking?

Chef Yoshi Migita: My mother inspired me to start cooking. She is an amazing cook. I grew an interest and started cooking for two years before enrolling at the Culinary Institute Of America (Hyde Park).

Do you have a specialty dish?

I do have some specialty dishes up my sleeve. One being the watermelon ceviche that I created for last year’s Miami Spice and the deconstructed smoked fish dip.

Do you prefer a particular style of cooking?

I am comfortable with Japanese cuisine and making fresh pasta. At home, I have been trying to use more Thai ingredients. (Basil, cilantro, mint, lemongrass, fish sauce, and curry).

What kind of atmosphere do you create in the kitchen?

The kind of atmosphere that I like to create in the kitchen is playful yet very serious when in service. I like to create life-long relationships with my staff.

What do you look for when you hire other chefs to assist you in the kitchen?

What I look for is organization, experience, budget minded and a great cook.

 Have I missed anything that you feel is important that you would like to add?

Yes, I would like to add that I have been the chef at Katsuya since November, 2016. What makes Katsuya unique from other eateries in Miami Beach is that we have many offerings. Many people think that a Japanese restaurant equates to only sushi. We have a great selection of Meats (NY strip steak from Japan, American Wagyu beef (Ribeye & Tenderloin)), skirt steak, lamb, salads, soups, dessert and then on top of that sushi.

What is your favorite spice? 

I don’t use spices very much. The spice that I use more than anything is white pepper.

What keeps you in cooking?

Teaching cooks, creativity, and multi-tasking.

Related Stories
The Best Restaurants of 2018, According to Yelp GallerySlideshow: The World’s 8 Best Sushi Restaurants17 Weird Things You Never Knew About Florida Gallery