Gene Kato

Gene Kato

Executive Chef of Momotaro


Gene Kato is the Executive Chef of Momotaro, Boka Restaurant Group's modern, seasonal Japanese restaurant, located in the heart of Chicago's Fulton Market neighborhood. An innovator of Japanese cuisine, Kato has been nominated for a James Beard Award and is the recipient Jean Banchet Award of Culinary Excellence. Coupled with his experience of growing up in a Japanese household in Charlotte, NC, in which he learned to cook the foods so integral to his heritage and culture, Kato is devoted to elevating Japanese cuisine yet remains respectfully authentic to tradition.

Prior to his time at Momotaro, Kato owned and operated Sumi Robata, a beloved restaurant that brought Chicago the traditional takumi experience of grilling on a robata using sumi, a distinct Japanese white charcoal. He also had a tenure at the highly regarded restaurant, Ohba, as well as nine years working as executive chef and partner of Japonais, launching the modern Japanese restaurant in Chicago, New York, and Las Vegas.