A gifted chef and strong businessman, Kevin Cory first began making sushi at the age of 19 under the supervision of Executive Chef Nobuo Kase in Miami. From this early apprenticeship Cory learned the mentality of a true chef, valuing precision, creativity, and a deep knowledge of the craft. After Chef Kase left Miami, Cory continued to practice and study, eventually traveling to Japan in 1999 to learn from his uncle Chef Yasushi Naoe. Cory perfected many technical skills, but most importantly he learned to put his full heart into his passion, and it’s this trait that earned him many accolades upon returning to the United States. In 2005, he was ready to open his own restaurant, but was concerned that his family name, Naoe, might be too difficult for Americans to pronounce. However, on a trip to Japan he discovered that his relatives were brewing smooth, high-quality sake and shoyu, and Cory knew he had to use the name to honor his uncle and the other great craftsmen of his family. NAOE was born and has been receiving rave reviews ever since for its decadently fresh and uniquely designed bento boxes and sushi platings. In 2013, NAOE was awarded the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award, and Cory traveled to Japan to gift a plaque to the wife of his late uncle Yasushi Naoe, letting her know that his uncle’s legacy lives on in him. The original one-chef NAOE continues to garner success after success in Miami along with its sister establishment N Shabu Shabu.
Awards & Press
- James Beard Award