What is a Japanese hibachi chef called?

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  November 18, 2021

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In 1945 the first Hibachi restaurant in Japan was opened. Misono remained extremely successful among locals so they were popular with travelers.

Patrons grew more impressed with the chef’s creativity when preparing delicious dinner for a culinary show, but the Japanese would call that type of cheap a Teppanyaki chef.

The term “hibachi chef” is more of a Western notion, but an itamae (板前) is a chef in a Japanese kitchen. It’s often referred to as the chef in a high-end Japanese restaurant and translates to “in front of the board,” as in a cutting board.

Check out my review of the top 4 best hibachi chef knives you want to buy

What is a hibachi chef called

What is a hibachi chef in America?

A hibachi or “teppanyaki” master has the ability to do many jobs with less time, but still, keeps his clients filled with food and information.

Aside from their tasks to prepare meals a chef must also have multitasking skills to keep a full list of knowledge at hand to answer questions or provide background info on the cooking and ingredients.

How do I become a Teppanyaki Chef?

To become expert chef of teppanyaki takes many years of training and dedication. These professionals add performance in their cooking.

They delight diners not only with the taste of their dishes but also with the incredible repertoire of tricks that they use to create them. What is important for being a top chef: preparation. precision and commitment.

How long does it take to become a Teppanyaki chef?

The duration of becoming a Teppanyaki chef could sometimes vary as it could depend on the skill ability, learning ability, and ambition of the aspiring chef.

In fact, it takes up to 10 years for a cook to truly understand how to make sushi therefore it takes even more time to ‘know’ and teach a person.

What do hibachi chefs use to make flames?

For the signature pyrotechnic the chef chops onions and places the rings together in tower formations. After removing the clear stack of liquid he fires the pot.

Usually, most chefs grind pepper to the cooked onions to encourage the explosion, most use pepper.

What makes Japanese chefs elite?

All top Japanese chefs share two core characteristics: discipline and passion for their craft.

The Japanese are particularly serious about their development and knife handling abilities. It sometimes takes 10 years of training to become an itamae (a Japanese chef).

Apart from their education, the instruments that Japanese chefs use are also slightly different to the Western counterparts, particularly the assemblage of different types of sushi dishes.

When Japan’s chefs employ knives they’re very serious – more so as compared to its western counterparts.

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.