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The Journey to the Gauntlet: Chatting with Challenger Shota Nakajima from Iron Chef Gauntlet

March 22, 2017

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Meet the Challengers Competing on Iron Chef Gauntlet

March 2, 2017

Shota Nakajima (Seattle)


Chef Shota Nakajima’s point of view is influenced by his Japanese background, his mother’s homemade cooking and his focus on ingredients from the Pacific Northwest. A Seattle native, 27-year-old Nakajima began cooking in area Japanese restaurants in his teens and fell in love with all aspects of restaurant life. At age 18, he moved to Osaka, Japan to learn the depth of his native culture and attend the prestigious Tsuji Culinary Arts School. Following graduation, he had the opportunity to apprentice under Michelin Star Chef Yasuhiko Sakamoto.  When Nakajima returned to Seattle, he worked for Chef Taichi Kitamura at Sushi Kappo Tamura from 2011-12.  In 2014, he opened his own catering business, Kappo Kitchen, and won the Seattle round of the World Washoku Challenge. Fans of his beautiful Japanese presentations were introduced to contemporary Kaiseki dining when he opened Naka Kaiseki and bar in June, 2015.  In February, 2017, Naka Kaiseki was reborn as Adana restaurant and bar: Japanese comfort food experienced in Shota’s three-course tasting menus and Japanese street food in the bar. 


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