Chef Chat

Kata Robata Chef Chat, Part 2: Jean-Philippe Gaston

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?

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.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Greenway Barista