Video: Gene Kato Talks The (Tasty) Fine Art of Grilled Meats at Sumi Robata Bar

Photo: Sky Full of Bacon

Sumi Robata Bar, from Gene Kato, longtime Japonais chef, promises to take Japanese robata grilling to new heights of authenticity when it opens in late November. And Kato wanted to tell us more about it in a video interview, but we couldn’t shoot at the space, since it’s still under construction. So instead he suggested a local gallery, Floating World Gallery on Halsted, which specializes in Asian art. He says he often visits the gallery to reconnect with the spirit of takumi, or artisanship and devotion to perfecting a single craft, common among Japanese artists… and, as the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi shows, achievable for those who approach food as artistry, too. In this 5 minute video, Gene Kato talks about what inspired him to recreate robata grilling in Chicago, how grilling meat and vegetables over a bincho fire is a form of art and performance for him, and why robata is much more accessible to Americans than sushi. Watch it below.