Chef Yoshi Tabo

Vancouver is home to some of the best chefs in the world, many have worked for the top chefs and restaurants around the world as well as around the city. Dishing with the Chefs is a series of Interviews with some of the top chefs in and around Vancouver.

Chef Yoshi Tabo

Yoshi grew up in Japan, and came to Vancouver when he was 19 in 1973. From 1987 to 1996 he was the Chef & Co-owner of Shijo on 4th avenue, from 1996 to 2002 he was the Chef & Co-owner of Yoshi on Denman. From 2002 to 2010 he was the Raw Bar Chef at Blue Water Café & Raw Bar and from 2011 to the present he has been the Master Sushi Chef at Ki Modern Japanese Vancouver.


How long does it take to master the Craft of Sushi?

20 years or more, an evolving process where you are always learning something new.

How long have you been making sushi professionally?

45 years

Was it hard to find a job?

There were only 5 Japanese restaurants in Vancouver in 1973 but I did find a job.

Is there a particular type of sushi wrapper to use when making sushi in the restaurant?

The more expensive wrappers stay crispy and melt in your mouth.

What do you like to do in your off time?

  •   Stay home and relax
  •   Watch tv

What do you like to eat when you eat out?

Korean food

What are your favourite restaurants in Vancouver outside of where you work?

  • Joe Fortes
  • Seoul House on Broadway
The First Dish:

Chef George Kita making the Crab & Eel Sushi

Crab & Eel Sushi

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Yoshi created this specialty roll at Ki.

What do you want Sushi chefs under you to learn?

  • Presentation
  • Keeping your work surface nice and clean
  • Clean knives
  • Clean cutting board
The Second Dish:

California Roll made by Chef Yoshi Tabo

California Roll

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

One of the classics and one of the most popular rolls here at Ki.

Is there a particular type of knife to use?

You can use any type of knife but best to use a Japanese knife for Sashimi

Before the Ocean Wise program existed, was the type of fish used quality important?


What are the most popular sushi rolls in your restaurant?

California roll

Dynamite roll

Unagi & Crab roll (Yoshi specialty)

The Third Dish:

Chawan – Mushi (Steamed Savoury Custard) made by Chef Yusuke Tomite

Chawan – Mushi (Steamed Savoury Custard)

What was your inspiration behind this dish?

Chef Yusuke created this dish which is usually eaten warm, though in the summer he serves it as a cold dish.

Have any of your former customers followed you to KI from your other restaurant?

Yes I have many people to come to eat my sushi here.

What does your position entail here at Ki?

  • Sushi
  • Sashimi
  • Cold dishes

What are your sushi specialties Yoshi?

1)    Crab & Eel Sushi

2)    King Crab Roll

What is your favourite type of rice to use?

Koko Rose rice

Are there any ingredients that are hard to get in Vancouver?

We get everything we need from Japan.

What type of Soy Sauce would your special VIP customers order?

Shiboritate “nama” Soy Sauce

What is your favourite Japanese Sushi?

Abolone and Shellfish

Chef George Kita (l), Chef Yoshi Tabo (m), Chef Yusuke Tomite (r)

What sets you apart from the other sushi restaurants in the city?

Experience and chefs knowledge

What is the most specialty/knives you have?

45 years ago I bought a knife for $1000

What is your favourite style of Sushi?

Tokyo style

Stay tuned for the next chef in the Dishing with the Chef series.

By: Richard Wolak

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