About KAZ Sushi Bistro
In 1999, Chef Kaz (Kazuhiro) Okochi opened KAZ Sushi Bistro in downtown Washington D.C. Located near the White House, The World Bank and George Washington University, the 74 seat sushi haven has immediately become one of Washington D.C.’s most sought after Japanese dining destinations. Over the past 25 years, Chef Kaz established his fame by reimagining authentic Japanese dishes with a delightful twist, which he has called the “Freestyle Japanese Cuisine”. By infusing Western and other international flavors, techniques, and presentations, Chef Kaz’s dishes reflects the culturally diverse environment of Washington D.C. while remaining faithful to the roots of Japanese tradition. In recent years, Chef Kaz broadened the concept of Japanese cuisine by introducing Japanese comfort foods, including his childhood favorites from the Nagoya region. KAZ Sushi Bistro offers a variety of dining options from quick lunches and casual dinners to the extravagant Omakase (Chef’s choice) experience to guests from all over the world, including political VIPs and Hollywood celebrities.
KAZ Sushi Bistro has won numerous awards include 2000 RAMMY New Restaurant of the Year Finalist, 2006 & 2012 RAMMY Chef of the Year Finalist, 2006 RAMMY Informal Dining Restaurant of the Year, Washingtonian Magazine Best 100.
About Chef Kaz Okochi
Born and raised in Nagoya, Japan, Chef Kaz completed his fine arts studies in Oklahoma in 1982. He then returned to Osaka, Japan to attend the Tsuji Culinary Institute, one of Japan’s premier culinary schools, to study French cuisine. After finishing the school, Kaz changed his direction and completed five years of his formal training in sushi and fugu (blowfish) in Osaka. In 1988, Kaz realized his U.S. dream when he finished his training and came to Washington D.C. A few years later, Kaz started developing his own style of cooking, inspired by many prestigious U.S. and European chefs such as Jean-Lois Paladin, Michel Richard, Roberto Donna, Patrick O’Connell, Jose Andres and many more. Chef Kaz said, “We learned from each other. They learned about raw fish and Japanese cooking from me and I learned countlessly from them. It was really a life changing experience for me to not only cook with them, but to build lifelong friendships”.
Kaz is a SSI certified sake adviser and the first chef to serve Japanese premium sake in the nation’s capital in 1992. Also he is the first to serve fugu (blow fish) in 2001.
For more than 25 years, Kaz has been involved in many local charitable events as well as national and international food events and organizations. He is also a ten-year board member of RAMW (Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington) and a member of the prestigious U.S. State Department Culinary Diplomacy Partnership Initiative.