Modern Take on Sushi
Mura is North Raleigh's spot for one-of-a-kind sushi and tasty Japanese cuisine.
Neighborhood Bar & Grill
Cameron Bar & Grill is your place for great American food and mouthwatering drinks.
Bull City Sushi
Basan is Eschelon's first restaurant in Durham, serving up sushi and much more.
Edwards Mill Bar & Grill
Burgers, sandwiches, pasta...comfort foods redefined.
Cocktail Bar
Our drinks are fun, diverse, and are sure to knock you off your feet.
The Bare Essentials of Southern Hospitality
Southern food and down-home cookin’ with 24 beers on tap.
Head Sushi Chef
Toshio Sakamaki

Meet Our Durham Sushi Chef: Toshio Sakamaki

At Basan, we strive to provide simple yet fun, modern Japanese cuisine, and we’re proud to host an experienced sushi chef in Durham, Toshio Sakamaki. Chef Sakamaki is a skilled sushi master, creating fresh, unique sushi rolls with an exquisite design as an essential part of the Basan team.

About Chef Sakamaki

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Chef Toshio Sakamaki was born in Tokyo Japan. His father was a sushi chef and owned a sushi restaurant in Tokyo. Ever since he was a child, he has had a passion for cooking. He always wanted to be a chef, and he equally wanted to go to the United States, so he decided to move and work in the USA as a teenager.

Chef Sakamaki’s career started back in 1984, when he was 18 years old. He received training while working as sushi chef at Hatsuhana restaurant in New York. It was the first Japanese restaurant that received four stars from The New York Times by restaurant reviewer Mimi Sheraton. Hatsuhana was also the number one Japanese Restaurant on Zagat for 20 years. There, he was trained in the traditional Japanese sushi chef knowledge, acquiring new knowledge, techniques and knife skill.

He spent about four years in New York and then moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. He worked at Robata Grill and Sushi – a Japanese-style grill and sushi restaurant in Mill Valley as a sushi chef. After that, he moved to downtown San Francisco and worked at Ichirin Restaurant, where they served traditional “Kaiseki” cuisine, a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. The term can also mean the combination of skills and techniques that help create meals similar to Western haute cuisine. He worked with Chef Okamoto, former executive chef of Hotel Nikko San Francisco, owned by Japan Airlines. He learned traditional Japanese kitchen knowledge, technique and hotel-style banquet service from him. Three years later, he became Sous Chef there, but then returned to work for Robata Grill and Sushi as Executive Chef and Partner.

Over the years, Chef Sakamaki has met, worked with, and learned from many skilled and famous chefs. Since meeting Chef Arakawa, former French and pastry chef at Hotel New Otani Japan, he was inspired to begin cooking Asian fusion. From then, he has worked for and been partner in multiple successful restaurants, including San Francisco’s Ozumo (contemporary Japanese) and Bamboo (Japanese-style tapas).

He has been incredibly busy and worked hard for a long time, but he decided to take a break after opening Bamboo. He’s rested now and ready for the next exciting stage of his career with Eschelon Experiences.

Contact Basan for Durham Japanese Cuisine

Curious about Basan and our Durham modern Japanese cuisine by Chef Sakamaki? Feel free to contact us today — we’ll be glad to answer your questions about our sushi and sake for lunch, dinner, drinks and more.

As the head chef at Basan Bull City Sushi, Chef Sakamaki is proud to serve Durham, NC and the Triangle area with exceptional sushi and Japanese cuisine.