Mike Lim, Sushi Chef, is a passionate culinary expert with 17 years of industry experience. Lim brings his commitment to excellence to the sushi program by using the philosophy of combining Mother Nature’s finest ingredients and his best culinary abilities to yield amazing results. His upbringing in the seaside city of Busan, Korea, cultivated his enthusiasm for fresh ingredients. He spent his childhood catching fresh fish and visiting his grandmother’s vegetable and rice farm. These ingredients made their way to his father’s kitchen in the family restaurant that Lim grew up in. At 14 years old, Lim moved to San Francisco and began shadowing his uncle in a sushi restaurant, ultimately sparking his creative approach to sushi.
Since young 17 year-old Lim first joined the hospitality industry as a server at Osaka Sushi, he has lead sushi programs as the chef at various restaurants, including Aya Sushi, Masu, Kappa Tei, Sushimoto, and Barracuda. In 2010, Lim became the executive chef at Hana Zen and helped the restaurant open a second location at Pier 39. Following Hana Zen, the esteemed Japanese restaurant, Morimoto in Napa, recruited Lim where he enlisted the mentorship of lead sushi chefs at the restaurant. By 2013, JNK Concepts invited Lim to open Roka Akor’s San Francisco location as Head Sushi Chef until promoting to Corporate Sushi Chef and moving to Houston upon opening the restaurant’s fifth location.
In 2018, Lim joined the owners of Tobiuo Sushi & Bar located in La Centerra, Katy, Texas, to showcase his talents. He challenges himself in the artful ways he can present a dish: “I draw inspiration for creating a dish from art and architecture that I encounter and study various non-culinary books that deal with colors and structure.” Lim strives to continuously polish his craft and communicates this sense of determination to any team. In doing so, he leads by example, aspiring to create future leaders by serving as a mentor to his team members. When he isn’t busy in the kitchen, Lim indulges in collecting state-of-the-art knives to add to his $70,000 collection. He also enjoys golfing, snowboarding, exploring new restaurants and visiting museums.
In 1990, Junro Aoki realized his dream by establishing the Knife System Company and creating the Suisin brand collection. As the second son of the Aoki Knife Craft family, he was eager to step apart from his family to create his own cherished knife brand. He spent his youth learning his craft, the young and energetic knife craftsman dreamed of someday creating knives that would combine the traditional qualities of Sakai-style knife-crafting techniques with more modern designs. Since the beginning, Korin has worked closely with Knife Systems and we have helped one another bloom into the companies they are today. Before Korin’s Knife Master Sugai became an apprentice of Japan’s top sharpening Master Mizuyama, President Aoki taught Sugai how to sharpen knives for several years. Nowadays, Suisin brand knives are found in professional kitchens worldwide and are highly recognized for their work with renowned knife craftsmen such as Keijiro Doi and Yoshikazu Ikeda. As Sugai’s original teacher and one of Korin’s trusted companies, we are thrilled to announce that we will be celebrating Suisin’s 25th anniversary this June.
We hope you will join us for this grand anniversary to meet Knife System’s founder and president for the company’s first event in the U.S.