guides Katana chef
By Kristen Gaydos - Citizens Voice
Warren Ruda / The Citizens' Voice, License: N/A, Created: 2013:01:25 15:49:33
Takeshi Ei brings 45 years of experience with Japanese cuisine to the tables of
Katana. The native of Onomichi City, Japan, lives in Moscow and opened the downtown
Wilkes-Barre restaurant in 1992, with his wife, Teresa, and their partner Naoto
JS: Who in your life influenced your cooking the most?
whole family is in the restaurant/fish market business. My brother influenced
me the most.
JS: How would you describe your cooking style or philosophy?
Must have a passion for food and cooking.
JS: Describe the atmosphere of your
Ei: Everybody works together to keep the flow smooth and the quality
JS: Where do you get ideas and inspiration for new dishes?
Japanese television and books and magazines. Also, when I visit Japan, I get to
see the latest ideas.
JS: What's one ingredient you wouldn't be able to live
Ei: Soy sauce. It is the basic ingredient in most Japanese foods.
What are some of the most recent trends in Japanese cuisine? How do you incorporate
them at Katana?
Ei: The trends are to offer healthy choices. At Katana, we
have brown rice sushi, gluten-free soy sauce, low-salt soy sauce, and some vegetarian
JS: What would you recommend as a starter dish for someone
who's never tried Japanese cuisine?
Ei: Tempura, or beginner a la carte sushi.
What's your biggest kitchen disaster? Biggest triumph?
Ei: I've never had a
disaster, but had a full power outage at the beginning of operating hours one
time. My biggest triumph would be having been able to maintain quality and value
for 20 years at Katana.
JS: What's the single most valuable learning experience
you've had during your career?
Ei: I have learned that people are very receptive
to trying new things.
KATANA Location: 41 S. Main St., Midtown Village, Wilkes-Barre
Lunch Tuesday-Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner Tuesday-Thursday, 5-9:30
p.m., Friday and Saturday, 5-10 p.m. and Sunday, 5-9 p.m.