After our interview with Kata Robata's Manabu Horiuchi, he demanded we interview his chef de cuisine, Jean-Philippe Gaston, an integral part of Kata Robata. We sat down with him for a few bonus words.
Eating Our Words: What is your role on the Kata Robata menu?
Jean-Philippe Gaston: If you take a look on the daily-specials menu, the cooked part of the menu is mine. In a couple months we will be rolling out a new menu of cooked food with my cuisine. Hori-san handles all sushi and fusion, and I handle the rest.
EOW: Do you and Hori-san complement each other in the kitchen?
JPG: Like black and white. We spend so much time with each that we can communicate even by looking at each other's plates we are serving. I can tell if he needs foie gras, and he can tell to take care of a plate I sent out specially. It is truly a tag-team match. We do lots of on-the-fly menu work with each other as well.
EOW: Where is your culinary background?
JPG: Well I think we all start out washing dishes, don't we? After moving up positions I landed a gig at Noe with Mr. Gadsby. After he left, I was chef de cuisine and executive interim chef at Soma on Washington. When Hori-san was looking for a partner, he chose my food off a blind panel of eight different chefs.
EOW: What dish on this menu would you say is a good example of Jean-Phillippe?
JPG: Ginger lamb lollipops, and when the flounder is back on season, jump on the fish and chips.
EOW: What is the plan after work?
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JPG: Ask my Twitter friends what is going down.
EOW: Has Twitter affected your culinary life?
JPG: I think it is a great way to get in contact with your passionate customers. I always get a smile when I have a customer who just mentioned us come by and say hello. I handle the Kata Robata Twitter marketing, so follow me.
Follow Kata Robata at @frenchfrykata.