Chef Katsuji Tanabe is the son of a Japanese father, and Mexican mother. Born and raised in Mexico City, Katsuji spent his formative years watching and learning from chefs in the homes of the city’s elite, picking up recipes, techniques and sparking a lifelong passion for Mexican cooking along the way.

After his parents separation, a previously privileged Tanabe, found himself living in a one room apartment without a refrigerator, with his mother and siblings. Living conditions were poor and Katsuji recalls putting perishable foods by the window in an attempt to keeping it from spoiling. Determined to have a better life, Tanabe left for America in 1999, arriving in the country on a 6-month tourist visa and embarking on his culinary journey.