The Sushi Chef: Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau

Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau are the masterminds behind NYC’s Shuko, a restaurant that plays with the traditional understanding and boundaries of what constitutes Japanese dining. From the hip-hop that fills the sushi bar to the apple pie that caps the meal, Nick and Jimmy are finding a balance between their traditional training with Chef Masayoshi Takayama (of the sushi empire Masa) and their diverse backgrounds. Nick grew up in Los Angeles in a Korean family who had roots in Japan, while Jimmy was born in China where he always helped his mother cook at home. While Nick and Jimmy’s personalities and roles at the restaurant vary—what Nick refers to as the “good cop, bad cop” approach—the two find a balance that complements each other’s strengths. As the two chefs experiment with new flavors and styles of cooking, the seasonality of the ingredients always remains at the forefront of their approach.

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