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Chef Shotaro “Sho” Kamio

Chef Partner

Chef Shotaro "Sho" Kamio is an award-winning chef who has made it his mission to both redefine and preserve the spirit of traditional Japanese cuisine in the San Francisco Bay Area. Chef Sho is originally from the countryside in Sendai, Japan, where fresh fish, meats, and vegetables are part of daily life; Chef Sho's distinct culinary style celebrates and reimagines the flavors, ingredients, and dishes that are integral to his heritage. Chef Sho spent his teenage years in an apprenticeship at one of Tokyo's top restaurants. However, his most important source of education and inspiration comes from the time spent at his mother's side as a little boy. There, he gained a foundation in traditional Japanese cooking techniques and ancestral knowledge of food's miraculous ability to soothe mind, body, and spirit.

Upon moving to San Francisco in 2000, Chef Sho was quickly named a "Rising Star Chef" by the San Francisco Chronicle, promptly earning the designation by leading and reinventing some of the city's most outstanding Japanese restaurants, beginning with Ozumo from 2000 to 2005. Chef Sho earned the restaurant three stars from The San Francisco Chronicle's leading food critic, Michael Bauer. In 2006 Chef Sho became the Executive Chef at Yoshi's, a pair of iconic jazz clubs known for their excellent Japanese cuisine. Chef Sho's reinvention of Yoshii's menu and cuisine earned the restaurant a place on The San Francisco Chronicle's "Top 10 New Restaurants 2008" list and a place on their "Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants" list in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.

In 2013, Chef Sho brought his deeply personal vision to life with the opening of Iyasare in Berkeley, which in Japanese means "to be healed." Showcasing the cooking techniques he learned as a boy by his mother's side and blending them with his own unique interpretation of simple, Japanese comfort foods, Iyasare has become one of the Bay Area's leading restaurants, earning a place on the The San Francisco Chronicle's "Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants'' list every year since opening. The accolades continued with The San Francisco Chronicle's "Top 10 New Restaurants" list in 2014, the Michelin Bib Gourmand award in 2015, and an invitation to cook dinner at the James Beard House in New York, where tickets sold out for one of the only such times that year.

In 2022, Chef Sho is preparing for this most ambitious project yet: the eponymous Shō opens in 2023 atop Salesforce Park. Shō is the culmination of all the ideas and techniques that Chef Sho has honed over the past 40 years, combined with San Francisco's unparalleled spirit of innovation. The restaurant will offer a membership powered by NFT technology that will grant holders unforgettable community and educational experiences both in the real world and virtually. Central to the dining experience at Shō will be a culinary tradition never before introduced in America known as "irori dining." While the word "irori" roughly translates to "fireplace," in Japan, it means much more. Iroris are traditional Japanese sunken charcoal-fueled hearths used not only to cook food but also to provide heat; they serve as community spaces where families or larger groups in a hamlet would gather to cook, eat, and converse. Once quite prevalent in Japan, especially in the rugged north from where Chef Sho hails, this dining style is a dynamic expression of many notable characteristics of Japanese food culture and history. Shō will feature the country's only traditional irori at the restaurant's very heart and will be a space for Chef Sho to continue to delight, nourish, and educate his guests.