line up.


aka Koji Kagawa, Corporate Sushi Chef, SUSHISAMBA

thumbs up: watching the waves (I’m a surfer), strawberries in Japan, being able to look up and see the Empire State building when I’m playing soccer at night, hip hop and breakdancing, a long drive straight down the middle of the fairway

thumbs down: cold water, smelly fish, when my computer freezes, over-sized portions of food (especially meat), still getting carded when I’m buying beer

SS stats:
SUSHISAMBA seniority = 10 years; worked at almost every location
favorite dish: Moqueca (but w/o clams because of my allergies)
fresh muddled caipirinhas:  the best


aka Brian Nasajon, Chef de Cuisine, SUSHISAMBA dromo

thumbs up: sleeping in, venti iced coffees, sharp knives, auxiliary cables, tax returns, water from glass bottles, being a non-smoker

thumbs down: over-salting, season finales, S.O.S – ers, throwing away favorite-but-clearly-old-shoes, being hungry, losing my phone charger…and my hair

SS stats:
part of the team since 2011
favorite samba dish: Moqueca
favorite samba cocktail: Chu-Cumber


aka Michelle Duran, Pastry Chef, SUSHISAMBA nyc

thumbs up: Central Park after it snows, my grandmother’s cooking, margaritas on a hot day… actually… any time!, working with cool people, apple pie with the perfect amount of crust

thumbs down: car alarms, rude people, touching cornstarch, ovens that don’t work, people who chew with their mouth open

SS stats:
At SS nyc locations since October 2010
Favorite dish: Kobe Beef Gyozas
Creator of the White Chocolate Semifreddo with Wasabi-Green Apple Sorbet


Big John

aka John Um, Executive Sushi Chef , SUSHISAMBA strip

thumbs up: SUSHI!!!, ramen, high top shoes, Red Bull, almost anything that is sweet, Diesel jeans, one-or-two-day-quick-get-away-trips on a tight schedule, cold weather, rave music, being busy

thumbs down: spicy food, buffets and all-you-can-eat restaurants, 86s, cats, cigarettes, small economy airplane seats

SS stats: 
Favorite Dish: Tuna Tiradito & Tuna Seviche (I just cannot pick one…)

Favorite Drink: Bartender’s Choice



aka Jill Montinola, Regional Pastry Chef, SUSHISAMBA dromo and SUGARCANE raw bar grill

thumbs up: good lemon anything, wine, the beach, my mom’s cooking, my four legged ‘dog-hters’, pork anything, productive days, yoga, Asia

thumbs down: dull knives, disorganized stations, disorganized brains, extreme heat, calling in sick, not being with my family

SS stats:
Been with the samba family for years now! Joined the SUGARCANE team in 2011.
Favorite dish: Hamapeno, yum!
Favorite drink: The Lemon Samurai, hands down.



aka Meredith Boyle, Corporate Culinary Manager, SUSHISAMBA

thumbs up: park benches in autumn, contemporary art, Royal Dandies, dance offs, old school manners, snowstorms like whoa, Borges’ Ficciones, Stag’s Leap, grizzly bears, that 3:49 a.m. creative calling

thumbs down: socks with sandals, sticky hands, cigarettes, just missing the subway, pigeons, bad breath, bad kissers, and especially, bad news

SS stats:
Joined the team as Marketing Manager in ‘08; Moved onto the Culinary Team in 2010.
Favorite dish: Steamed Scallop Dumplings with yuzu kosho butter.. mmmm….
Record change from high heels to Crocs in the kitchen: 8.2 seconds

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