In February I had the opportunity to partner with Taichi Kitamura, owner and chef of Sushi Kappo Tamura. Taichi was recently selected to participate in Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” TV show. To celebrate this honor, Taichi wanted to organize a small event for close friends, staff, and loyal customers to watch the show. Having heard many good stories about the restaurant and lived blocks away from it a few years ago, I was eager to get a look behind the scenes of this famous sushi spot. With very little hesitation I happily agreed to partner with Taichi on this event.
Prior to the event I deployed my digital expertise and setup a custom Eventbrite page designed to match Kappo Tamura’s branding. This allowed me to help Taichi easily track who signed-up for the event and provide real-time updates about who was attending. In addition to event registration, I also helped boost the overall awareness of the event by reaching out to Seattle area media and amplifying the message with social media and designing a few visuals to encourage discussion before and during the event. My outreach and media coordination led to placements in Seattle Met, International Examiner, and Evening Magazine. A clip from the segment can be found below.
The evening of the event was spectacular. Tini Bigs was filled to the brim with friends of Kappo Tamura and decked out in the restaurant’s official colors. Before the show started Taichi gave a speech describing his cooking style and why he agreed to be a part of the show. Much of it stemmed from the fact that he wanted a platform to showcase the talent and diverse flavors available in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, Taichi joked that it has been his “American Dream” to take on Bobby Flay and beat him in the kitchen.
Taichi was the standout star on “Beat Bobby Flay” that night. He easily outcooked David DeCastro and made Bobby Flay sweat during the final potstickers challenge. Taichi masterfully crafted his own potstickers but Bobby struggled with the task. I’ve personally never made potstickers myself but a majority of the difficulty seemed to stem from the technique required to delicately close the potstickers. Bobby struggled creating the potstickers and ultimately created something more akin to empanadas. At the close of the show the victor was clear; Taichi as described by the judges dropped the hammer on Bobby and was named the winner of the contest!
I had a blast working with Taichi this past month! His passion and energy for his craft are contagious. The whole experience was also a nice throwback to my former life as a hospitality and food PR consultant in 2010. Working with small business owners is always a rewarding experience. It’s a healthy reminder that if you work hard enough and hone your craft, you can make your dreams come true.
Full “Beat Bobby Flay” Episode