ITO is an omakase sushi restaurant, led by Chef/Owners Masa Ito and Kevin Kim, in partnership with VCR Group.
CHEFS MASA ITO AND KEVIN KIM, BEST FRIENDS WHO MET A DECADE AGO IN CALIFORNIA AND HAVE WORKED TOGETHER ON AND OFF OVER THE YEARS.
CHEF MASASHI ITO
Growing up in Hokkaido, Japan, Chef/Owner Masashi Ito was surrounded by the fresh local seafood at his Grandfather’s sushi restaurant. Inspired by his Grandfather’s passion for using fish in “shun” – the Japanese idea of enjoying seasonal food at its peak flavor – Masa began his own culinary journey cooking for various kitchens and became a sushi chef at 19.
With his passion for sushi, Masa was headhunted to become Chef for Sushi Zo Downtown Los Angeles in 2012, and then later moved to NYC in 2016 as Chef for Sushi Zo’s third location. He fell in love with the city and quickly gained popularity, receiving the honor of a Michelin Star during his first year. Having always wanted to open his own resturant, Ito is Masa’s childhood dream come true.
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CHEF KEVIN KIM
Born and raised in Orange County, California, Chef/Owner Kevin Kim found a love for local seafood at an early age. At the age of 19, he dedicated his career to sushi – honing his craft with seafood sourced from Japan while working with renowned restaurants. In 2016, Kevin joined as Chef of Sushi Zo Downtown Los Angeles.
Immersed in an omakase setting, Kevin was able to showcase his passion for creating memorable experiences with food. After 3 years at the helm of Sushi Zo, Kevin was invited to join Sushi Zo (1 Michelin Star) in New York. Quickly becoming enthralled with the energy of the city upon arrival, he is thrilled to be working in one of the most competitive culinary destinations in the world.
BEVERAGE DIRECTOR ARTUR SILVA
Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Artur Silva spent his infancy running around in his parents' restaurant. At the age of 22 he moved to NYC with a love for hospitality and food as art. He eventually found his way to the Clocktower, where he was part of the team who won the Starr group's first Michelin star. As the head bartender he made cocktails that were featured in trade magazines, commercials, and television, including ABC’s The Today Show.
Following that he joined the Jean-Georges team, as their corporate mixologist. There he developed a deeper understanding of fine wines, and a love for Chef owned restaurants.