Shotaro “Sho” Kamio, the head chef at Yoshi’s in both San Francisco and Oakland, is set to open his own restaurant in the O Chamé space at 1830 Fourth Street in Berkeley. O Chamé, owned by David and Hiromi Vardy, closed its doors last Sunday after serving a loyal customer base for 23 years.
Kamio gave his notice at Yoshi’s this week, according to Inside Scoop SF which broke the news. He said working there had been a “wonderful experience,” but that it was time to move on to his own project.
Kamio said the wanted to live up to O Chamé’s “amazing history and spirit’ and that he had been collaborating closely with David Vardy on the takeover the the past few weeks.
Originally from the countryside in Sendai, Japan, Kamio was at Ozumo in San Francisco, and at his own restaurant in Sacramento, before becoming Executive Chef of Yoshi’s Jazz Club & Japanese Restaurant in 2006. He is known for fusing traditional Japanese cooking methods with seasonal ingredients and authentic spices.
Many Berkeleyside readers reacted with shock to the abrupt news of O Chamé’s closing. “I am totally heartbroken! This is my favorite restaurant, period. There is a hole in my heart, and my palate,” wrote Mika. Diane Clark Johnson said she had celebrated 23 wedding anniversary meals at the Japanese restaurant. “Please share the pancake recipe for your loyal followers,” she wrote.
Both the Oakland and San Francisco Yoshi’s restaurants are in the current San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 restaurant list.
O Chamé to close after 23 years in Berkeley (07.24.13)