Chef Tojo has received a long list of awards and accolades throughout his culinary career and has earned respect as a Master Chef for his extraordinary ability to prepare Japanese cuisine.
In 2016, the Japanese government honoured Chef Tojo as a Goodwill Ambassador for Japanese Cuisine, distinguishing him as belonging to the top tier of Japanese chefs in the world.
Chef Tojo gained his culinary skills and knowledge while working in a Ryotei, a high-class traditional Japanese restaurant in Osaka in his early twenties. Even then, he was passionate about experimenting with flavours and cooking methods, and creating new dishes. Although he showed real promise in the kitchen, Tojo felt limited by the strict traditions of Japanese culinary culture and jumped at the opportunity to move to Canada and settled in Vancouver, in 1971.
He was the first to introduce Omakase to Vancouver’s culinary scene and is the creator of countless dishes and techniques that are ubiquitous today. Among the most influential is the “Inside out” Tojo Roll, which is now universally known as the “California Roll.”
Also among Tojo’s creations are the BC Roll (using barbecued salmon skin), Rainbow Roll, Golden Roll (a delicate roll wrapped in egg crepe) and Spider Roll. Chef Tojo was also the first to use smoked salmon in Japanese cuisine.