wabi sabi by shuji @wabisabibyshuji
Chef Shuji Hiyakawa is about to debut Wabi Sabi, an intimate and upscale Japanese
restaurant with a focus on decadence and elegance. Its name represents the Japanese
concept of accepting the beauty of imperfection, allowing Hiyakawa to showcase his
commitment to his native cuisine while experimenting with modern and American flavor.
Wabi Sabi is Hiyakawa’s first independent restaurant.
shuji hiyakawa @chefshuji
Shuji Hiyakawa possesses nearly three decades’ worth of experience in Japanese fine dining.
With an exceptional ability to contrast and compliment textures and flavors, Hiyakawa is
one of South Florida’s most celebrated chefs.
Inside his father’s noodle shop in Fukuoka, Japan, Hiyakawa discovered a love for cooking
as a young boy. After moving to the U.S., he jumpstarted his career at Morimoto in
Philadelphia, becoming a protégé́ of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. In two years, he was
named Executive Sushi Chef. Then, Hiyakawa joined Ooka, a renowned Japanese restaurant
in Pennsylvania. His groundbreaking culinary work led to an award for “Best Sushi” by
Philadelphia Magazine, followed by an invitation to cook at the James Beard House in New
Before opening Wabi Sabi, Hiyakawa worked behind the scenes to conceive concepts,
create menus, and curate specialized dining experiences for various clients. Today, he
shares his passion for Japanese cuisine through expertly-crafted dining experiences at his first solo venture, Wabi Sabi.
maggie hyams @chefmaggiehyams
A culinary class in high school ignited Maggie Hyams love for cooking and prompted her to start her restaurant career. Her drive for experience, thirst for knowledge, and attention to detail landed her multiple positions across several concepts within the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. In 2014, she caught the eye of Shuji Hiyakawa as he was gearing up to open Japanese kitchen Kuro.
When Hiyakawa left Kuro, he asked Hyams to join his projects. Intrigued by the Japanese theology of taking time-honored traditions to create something new yet timeless, and by the opportunity to shadow her mentor, Hyams didn’t think twice. Because her undeniable work ethic and passion, Hiyakawa invited Hyams to become his assistant chef to run Wabi Sabi together.
Under Hiyakawa’s command, Hyams will continue to hone her skills while aspiring to master Japanese technique. “It’s about honoring ingredients as they are, “ she says. “Where the food came from and how it tastes at its true essence—Shuji reminds me of that every day.” Photo by @fujifilmgirl