Executive Team

Edgar Valerio

Executive Chef

Executive Chef Edgar Valerio is bringing his exclusive approach to omakase to Kissaki. Valerio began his culinary career in Japanese cuisine over two decades ago, working with various Japanese chefs and their restaurants in New York City. When he landed at Jewel Bako, he began to ground himself in the traditional Japanese techniques and methods of serving sushi and really mastered his craft. He spent about a decade there before joining us at Kissaki, where he continues to hone his skills, exercise creativity while respecting time-honored techniques and the delicacy of quality ingredients we serve at Kissaki. While an incredible leader at the helm of our omakase experience, Chef Edgar is a forever learner, finding new ways to innovate, improve, and deliver excellence.

Valerio leads our team at Kissaki on Bowery and Columbus Ave, where he presides over an elegant, 27-seat counter with 16 seats reserved for the omakase menu and the remaining 11 seats for cocktails at Bowery, and 12-seat counter at Columbus. Here, Edgar and his team have created a unique and intimate dining experience that honors the Japanese tradition and the art of the knife. Like craftsmen and artists with a practiced hand, Kissaki delivers precise dishes that tell a story.

Andrea Martinez

Assistant Sushi Chef

At 18-years-old, Andrea Martinez left Mexico City to visit Chicago for vacation and ended up staying. She loved the pace and people so much that the city became her new home. She was first introduced to culinary while working at a gastro-pub before getting a job as a sushi assistant in 2015 at Momotaro, which is a multi-dimensional sushi spot that quickly became one of the hottest restaurants in Chicago and is still open today. While at Momotaro, Andrea assisted making garnishes for nigiri and plating final dishes.

In 2016, she moved to New York to help open Gaijin in Astoria. Since this restaurant was smaller, she had more time to try new things. At Kissaki, she continues to prepare nigiri for service. She hopes to continue to learn and grow and one day be a sushi chef heading a counter under her own creative direction.