Chef Max Kamakura - Executive Chef of Queen Omakase

Bringing a rich tradition of sushi craftsmanship spanning four generations to Miami Beach's Queen Omakase restaurant
Queen Omakase
Queen OmakaseCraig Denis Creative
Chef Max Kamakura
Chef Max KamakuraCourtesy of Queen Miami

Chef Max Kamakura stands at the helm of Queen Omakase, chosen for his exceptional blend of traditional sushi expertise and a forward-thinking approach to Japanese cuisine. Hailing from a family with a rich tradition of sushi craftsmanship spanning four generations, Chef Kamakura brings a wealth of expertise in the culinary realm, boasting an extensive background in various facets of restaurant management, menu creation, and culinary innovation. Raised amidst the intricate artistry of sushi, he absorbed time-honored techniques.

Rooted in a renowned lineage of sushi chefs in Brazil, Chef Max Kamakura's culinary journey spans an impressive 23 years, during which he has played a pivotal role in elevating multiple restaurants to prestigious Michelin star status. With a blend of Japanese and German heritage, Kamakura's introduction to the world of sushi began at the age of 15 when he assumed the role of Assistant Sushi Chef at his family’s restaurant, with deep roots in Japan. After some time, he relocated to the North of Brazil and immersed himself in the culture of native Indians, delving into the exploration of Brazil's natural ingredients. Acquiring knowledge of indigenous cultivation methods and fishing techniques, Kamakura integrated these elements into his Japanese recipes, influenced by years of learning from the best Japanese chefs in Brazil. 

Nigiri Sebastian Bednarski

At Queen Omakase, Kamakura crafts a super-exclusive Omakase experience, while continuing to redefine the boundaries of Japanese cuisine. As a culinary maestro with a profound connection to tradition and an avant-garde approach, Chef Max Kamakura elevates each dining experience at Queen Omakase into a symphony of taste, where every dish tells a story of heritage, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of culinary excellence.

Fluent in Portuguese, English, and Spanish, Chef Max embraces linguistic diversity, showcasing the global influences that enrich his culinary creations.

Heavenly Sovereign
Heavenly SovereignKevin Martin

Resident Magazine: Can you share a bit about your culinary background and how you developed your skills to become the executive chef of Queen Omakase?

Chef Max Kamakura: I started my career at 15 years old in my family’s restaurant. I come from a family of sushi chefs, and over the last 22 years, I have worked with many old-school sushi chefs, deeply learning the traditional culture. I’ve also incorporated various techniques and ingredients from my experiences in different countries and regions.

RM: How does your third-generation culinary background influence the menu creation and dining experience at Queen Omakase?

CMK: My third-generation culinary background greatly influences the menu creation and dining experience at Queen Omakase. I enjoy bringing recipes from my childhood and adapting them to the current menu. These recipes were passed down from my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, all originating from the influences from when my Japanese family used to get together on weekends.

RM: Queen Omakase’s menu rotates every 3 weeks. How do you go about creating a new menu every so often? What factors do you consider?

CMK: Creating a new menu every three weeks involves studying new recipes, techniques, and ingredients. Research is a key part of my routine, making the process of menu creation more enjoyable. The influences for the new menus come from global trends, the availability of fresh fish, or even rediscovering very old recipes.

Queen Omakase
Queen OmakaseCraig Denis Creative

RM:  What’s unique about Queen Omakase that separates it from other omakase restaurants?

CMK: What makes Queen Omakase unique is the ability to offer clients a fun way to delve deeper into Japanese stories, methods, and techniques. The dining experience is complemented by relaxed conversations and engages all the senses with a touch of art and music.

RM: Can you share an example of a dish or menu creation that you felt particularly passionate about, and what inspired it?

CMK: One menu creation that I felt particularly passionate about was inspired by my daughter. She wanted me to take her to watch the Barbie Movie, and made me go to the movies dressed all in pink. This inspired me to prepare a pink powder from dehydrated beetroot, which, when added to the sauce, turns the entire dish pink. 

KINMEDAIBrinson Renda

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