Chef Hiro Ishikawa, Executive Chef and Managing Partner

A True Pioneer of the Sushi Craze

Hiro Ishikawa – Restauranteur, Seafood Importer and Innovator – is the man behind sushi’s rise to prominence on Long Island. A gregarious Japanese immigrant, Chef Hiro gravitated toward the restaurant industry, because he liked being around people, sharing his food creations and demonstrating his unique food preparation style.

Chef Hiro can be found at our Carle Place location

Ishikawa Opens the First Long Island Sushi Bar

In 1977, Ishikawa moved from New York City to Rockville Centre, Long Island with a vision of introducing sushi to suburbanites. Three years later, he opened Taiko in Rockville Centre, Long Island’s first Japanese restaurant with a dedicated sushi bar.

The Sushi Craze Takes Over

Chef Hiro’s Taiko received a favorable two-star review from The New York Times and was featured in an article in the paper about the new sushi trend in America.

In the article, Ishikawa was quoted as saying, “Once they try it, they become crazy about it.” He was right.

Chef Hiro’s restaurant was now on the map as the sushi craze began to explode in New York. Taiko quickly went from a few customers a night to a packed house for lunch and dinner every day.

Chef Hiro Builds a Strong, Local Following

The centerpiece of the operation was the sushi bar manned by Chef Hiro himself. The friendly and entertaining “sushi bar tender” quickly built a strong following of diners who enjoyed his company and the high-quality Japanese cuisine he served.

Master Sushi Chef Creates Trendsetting Rolls

Chef Hiro has always been a trendsetter. He created “Jake,” a mixture of chopped crabmeat and shrimp, which is now commonly used in sushi rolls from coast to coast. He also incorporated eel into sushi for the first time, inventing his “Black Dragon,” which pairs “Jake” with eel and avocado.

Chef Hiro is something to see

Chef Hiro Introduces Sushi to Surbanites

With a keen eye for fine fish and the goal of introducing sushi to the masses, Chef Hiro founded his seafood distributing company in 1980 and later a grocery store in Rockville Centre. Today, Ishikawa Seafood provides the highest-quality sushi-grade fish to the finest sushi and Japanese dining rooms in the region. If you have enjoyed fine sushi at a Long Island restaurant, it is more than likely that Ishikawa and his team selected the fish.

Shiro of Japan, New York’s Hottest Sushi Spot, Opens

In 2003, Ishikawa and his partner, Peter Faccibene, acquired Shiro of Japan, New York’s premier Japanese hibachi steakhouse and sushi restaurant. Chef Hiro continues to pursue his passion of educating people, including local students on classroom trips. A true pioneer of New York’s sushi craze, Ishikawa still delights customers daily at Shiro of Japan.

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Learn more about Chef Hiro and Shiro of Japan’s live chef experience.