Born in Chicago, Mari Katsumura was fully immersed in culinary culture at a young age. Raised directly above her family’s restaurant, Yoshi’s Café, she spent afternoons watching Julia Child and Jacques Pépin. She began her professional career with an internship under Rick Bayless at Frontera Grill and was hired at the original Xoco. Katsumura then completed an internship at Boka and was part of the opening team at The Pump Room. Following this, she spent three years at Grace, and she worked under Dana Cree at Paul Kahan’s flagship restaurant Blackbird before joining Ryan McCaskey at Acadia. Shortly thereafter, Katsumura joined the opening team at Entente with Brian Fisher before moving to Yūgen where she currently serves as the Executive Chef. The contemporary Japanese menu is a culmination of her familial upbringing and the kitchens in which she’s worked, and has resulted in the team’s first Michelin star.