After a decade spent training in Japan’s culinary scene, Kakusaburo Sakurai moved to New York in January 2002 to embark on his new career at Inagiku, Japanese restaurant in Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. He became the executive chef at Inagiku, while he served the luminaries such as the Prime Minister of Japan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, high government officials, and many celebrities. Twenty years of experience taught him that the best spice for any dish is the spirit of hospitality.
In 2010, he started his own Japanese restaurant, Wasan, which has been reviewed by many media. In 2011, his creative dish, “Uni Lover '' was reviewed by New York Times.
While hyping up the restaurant as an owner chef, he also hosted cooking classes to make Japanese cuisine more accessible. It was a popular class, known to teach students simple and easy to make Japanese food. Such efforts were recognized and they were invited to do a cooking demonstration at the biggest cherry blossom festival on the East coast: the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival.
In February 2020, he had a seminar at Columbia Culinary School in Peru and held a certification of Instructor of Japanese cuisine. This event was successful and published in Prensa Nikkei News Paper.
In 2015, he opened his second restaurant, Wasan Brooklyn. He was featured in the Wall Street Journal as a chef who uses traditional techniques, including the traditional Japanese New Year's dish, Osechi.
Contributing to the community became a keyword in the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, where local communities are treasured. Other than providing food, they also actively participate in volunteering activities. They have provided food to events at Japanese schools, hosted cooking classes for children, and also supplied lunches to Nikkei communities. He also collaborated with Japanese cleaning volunteers to assist with cleaning Brooklyn neighborhoods and supply lunches to other volunteers.
In Brooklyn, where the local community is valued, local contribution is the key word. In addition to serving food, he actively participates in volunteer activities to help clean up the community. They have provided food for Japanese school events, cooking classes for children, and lunches for the Japanese American community. He also worked with volunteer groups to help clean up the Brooklyn neighborhood and provide lunch to other volunteers.
In 2017, He was also selected as one of best five Japanese chefs in NYC and created amazing dishes at the Official Reception hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Abe. He created "Corn Agedashi", which was used with Kuzu, was praised by many attendees.
In 2022 he opened "a-un Brooklyn", the third restaurant in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The restaurant is a huge success as a favorite of the locals, and has been rated an unprecedented 5 stars by Google Review for over a year.