Masahiro Urushido - Hawaii Food & Wine Festival


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Masahiro Urushido

Katana Kitten - New York, NY

Masahiro Urushido, an ace bartender with more than 16 years of experience, is Managing Partner, Head Bartender and Director of Deliciousness at Katana Kitten, a new Japanese-Americanbar in the West Village co-created with Cocktail Kingdom Hospitality’s Greg Boehm and James Tune.

Katana Kitten combines the precision, craft and whimsy of Tokyo’s bars and izakayaswith the welcoming hospitality of a New York neighborhood watering hole. Masahiro spearheads the bar’s cocktail and culinary programs and splits his time between shifts behind the bar and hosting guests with his signature megawatt smile and outgoing personality.

Recently, Masahiro led the bar program at Saxon + Parole, which became his platform for exploring his creative approach to mixology. Having risen through the bar’s ranks, Masahiro led the team to win “Best American Restaurant Bar” at 2016 Tales of the Cocktail, following a win of “World’s Best Restaurant Bar” three years prior.

During his tenure at Saxon + Parole, Masahiro earned places on both StarChefs’ New York City Rising Stars and Wine Enthusiast’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers in 2017. That same year, he was nominated for “American Bartender of the Year” at Tales of the Cocktail. In 2014, Masahiro won world renown as winner of the Chivas Masters global cocktail competition, a resounding accolade in the mixology sphere.

One day, at famed restaurateur Hiro Shinkawa’s Tokyo fine-dining Tableaux, the very first restaurant where Masahiro worked as a food runner, a bartending position opened up. Masahiro had been curious about the beautiful bottles behind the bar and the way his Senseibartender was mixing them.

Everything was in the details: delicate and shiny Martini glasses, polished tools and the theatrical look of the bar and bartenders. This led to his experience at Tokyo restaurant Dazzle, where he developed his service skills further and was mentored by Tomoaki Asai, its legendary Maître d’. It was at Dazzle that Masahiro also refined his ice carving and overall bar technique.

Born and raised in a small town in Nagano, Japan, Masahiro grew up surrounded by mountains, rice paddies, lakes and world-renowned ski resorts. He currently lives in Brooklyn and enjoys cooking, stirring up pre-dinner Martinis and spending time with his family.