B.K. Park, the heralded and highly talented sushi chef, has left Arami and co-owner Ty Fujimura was just as shocked by the news as you likely are reading it now. "B.K., as of yesterday has left Arami," Fujimura said. "It was a personal decision on his part. I was as surprised as anyone. It came out of nowhere and it was a sad day. But Arami is not any one person; it's the sum of its parts. We'll continue to champion Japanese cuisine and sake."
With Park's departure, Arami will close as of today to retool the menu and upgrade some of its equipment. The restaurant will re-open on July 10 with an updated menu, allowing for the styles of chef de cuisine Ervin Guinto and sous chef Scott Malloy to shine through. "By design of the menu their cuisine has been a supporting cast so we're going to showcase their talents," Fujimura said.
Fujimura said they'll bring in a chef de partie for the sushi station, but will expand the focus from spotlighting just sushi. They'll expand hot kitchen dishes like the ramen and donburi and add in more grilled items.
"We want to make sure we go into this second chapter with Arami and be prepared for it," he added. "I'm not going to open the restaurant tonight without a sushi bar. That's not Arami. It's sad because B.K. is a friend and was a partner, but the challenge will be met head on."
B.K. Park [Photo: Chicago Reader]