Originally from the countryside in Sendai, Japan, where fresh fish, meats, and vegetables are part of daily life, Shotaro Kamio spent his teenage years in a long apprenticeship at top restaurants in Tokyo. Since he first burst on the restaurant scene in San Francisco in 2001, Chef Shotaro "Sho" Kamio has redefined Japanese cooking and by his second year, he was voted best rising chef by the San Francisco Chronicle. Utilizing a delicate balance of traditional Japanese cooking methods, seasonal ingredients and authentic spices, Chef Sho has identified three key words that sum up his approach to his cuisine: "Season." Creating a menu that will change with the seasons both locally in the Bay Area and in Japan. "Simple." Creating a simple balance with all the ingredients. Respecting the natural taste of each ingredient and enhanced by original flavors, textures, and presentation. Chef Sho has also developed simple cooking methods to assure proper timing. Lastly, "Surprise." A surprise or discovery for all five senses of the human body.
Under his leadership, Ozumo Restaurant became tremendously popular and in 2004, was awarded three stars by San Francisco Chronicle Food Editor, Michael Bauer and voted one of the Top 100 Restaurants in 2005. In addition to being one of the hippest Japanese restaurants, the menu at Ozumo presented some of the most interesting renditions of Japanese food in the Bay Area.
In 2005, Chef Sho moved on to open a restaurant in California's state capital, the city of Sacramento blazing new trails for Japanese cuisine in the area. Many of his were prepared on a traditional Japanese robata grill. Garnering three and a half stars from both the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento News & Review, Chef Sho had created a name for himself and a modern Japanese cuisine through out the state.
In addition to winning the Iron Chef San Francisco title, Chef Sho donates his time for various charitable events such as Meals On Wheels and Make A Wish foundation, and for children at schools in the Contra Costa County District. He returns to Japan often to acquire authentic Japanese ingredients and materials that he uses in his cooking. While there he also visits the Tsukiji fish market where he bids on the fresh Tuna to import back to the states.
In summer of 2006, Chef Sho was offered, and accepted, the opportunity to become Executive Chef of Yoshi's Jazz Club & Japanese Restaurant. Chef Sho has reinvented the menu at the original Oakland club and continues to create award-winning cuisine at both locations. Highlights include being awarded 3.5/4 stars for food, 'Top 10 New Restaurants 2008' and a place in the exclusive 'Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants' for 2008, 2009 and 2010, from prominent San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic, Michael Bauer.