Chef Sang Woo of Nakama Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar - Pittsburgh Article
Chef Sang Woo: Nakama Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar Follow @nyccitiview
Meet One of the Best Chefs in Pittsburgh!
As the son of restaurant owners, Chef Woo developed a love for cooking very early after moving to Pittsburgh when he was only 5 years old. Woo later honed his sushi-making skills for eight years while working at the Pittsburgh Fish Market. His sushi is well known and highly respected throughout the Pittsburgh area, making Nakama customers loyal and repeat visitors!
How did you develop your love of cooking?
My parents owned and operated a Korean Restaurant in Bloomfield, Young Bin Kwan, for years which is where I developed an understanding of the business and began acquiring a passion for food. My parents made everything from scratch, and I learned from them.
Sushi requires specific skills and knowledge. How did you become a sushi expert?
I was initially exposed to sushi preparation at my parent's restaurant and developed my skills further while working as head sushi chef at the Pittsburgh Fish Market where I worked for eight years. I then was hired as head sushi chef at Nakama where I perfected my skills.
What sources make up the best sushi?
It is of paramount importance that we have access to the absolute best ingredients available. Therefore, we maintain excellent relationships with our vendors to allow us to source the highest quality fish from all over the world i.e., Big Eye tuna from Hawaii, Yellowtail tuna from the Pacific Rim.
What is you favorite thing about preparing sushi?
Our customer's genuine appreciation for what we are able to prepare for them. We customize our sushi to their specific tastes. It is also a pleasure to introduce sushi to the sushi novice.
How did you end up in or choose to work in Pittsburgh?
I was born in Korea but my parents moved us to Pittsburgh when I was 5 years old.
What is your favorite thing about Pittsburgh?
I consider Pittsburgh to be my home. The people are so friendly and loyal. We continue to see the same faces in Nakama along with new faces of those who typically become our new followers.
Your thoughts on the future of Pittsburgh’s rapidly growing foodie scene?
The scene in Pittsburgh is changing daily. We're so fortunate to have such a diverse population which lends to the demand for new and innovative choices. It keeps the rest of us on our toes!