Shota Nakajima

Chef Shota Nakajima began his culinary journey at the age of 16, working for a highly acclaimed sushi restaurant in his hometown of Seattle, WA. At the age of 18, Chef Shota moved to Osaka, Japan to learn about the art of Japanese cuisine. There, Chef Shota had the opportunity to work for Michelin Star rated Chef Yasuhiko Sakamoto, an experience that greatly changed Chef Shota’s perspective on cooking and his approach to food.

Since returning to Seattle, Chef Shota’s dream of applying Chef Sakamoto’s approach to hospitality and Japanese cuisine in the United States, combined with Chef Shota’s own perspective and imaginative applications, was realized through his Capitol Hill restaurant Adana. At Adana, Chef Shota parlayed his meticulous detail, high-quality and approachable Japanese comfort food, blending his Japanese heritage and his American influences. Chef Shota went on to open Taku in Seattle in early 2020 with a menu featuring karaage, Japanese fried chicken.

Since opening his first restaurant in Seattle in 2015, Chef Shota has competed on the Food Network’s Iron Chef Gauntlet and Beat Bobby Flay where he was victorious preparing tempura. He has been a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation Awards in 2018, 2019 and 2020, received an Eater ‘Young Guns’ award and Zagat’s ’30 Under 30’ chef designation. Adana was the recipient of ‘Best New Restaurant’ in The Seattle Times and a ‘Top 10 Restaurant’ in Seattle Magazine. He was awarded Star Chefs ‘2020 Seattle Rising Star Chef,’ among other accolades.

Chef Shota competed on Season 18 of Bravo’s Top Chef in 2021 placing as a top three finalist. He was awarded Top Chef Season 18 Fan Favorite as voted on by the public.

Chef Shota seizes every opportunity to get outside and forage or fish, taking advantage of the abundance of wild goods in Washington’s mountains and waters.