Corporate Chef Masa Kurihara has spent a lifetime perfecting his craft on both sides of the Pacific. His knowledge, precision, artistry, and passion sets a superb example for the many young chefs he trains in the KABUKI organization. Born in Tokyo, Kurihara began his career at age 18, working in a French restaurant—starting as a dishwasher—while attending the prestigious Tokyo Culinary School.
His culinary training was classically-oriented, exposing the aspiring chef to traditional European technique. Kurihara later combined this classic training with his Japanese skills to create innovative fusion dishes, many of which are featured on KABUKI’s menu. After graduation, Kurihara had the opportunity to work at Tokyo’s famous Imperial Hotel. In 1976, the young chef arrived in Washington, D.C. to work for the Japanese Ambassador to the United States, cooking for formal receptions and banquets.
Kurihara’s culinary philosophy is to keep things relatively simple, insisting, “halibut must taste like halibut, and salmon must retain the essence of salmon, unmasked by unnecessary sauces.” On the other hand, he is always open to experimentation, commenting, “I’m constantly looking for new ideas…whenever I taste something at a party or a restaurant, I’m always thinking about how I can improve upon it.”