When Nomi added a word and subtracted some stuffing to become Nomi Kitchen (Park Hyatt Chicago, 800 N. Michigan Ave., 312-239-4030) in 2011, the restaurant went from French fine dining to American farm-to-table. Now Nomi Kitchen shifts laterally to simple food with global touches under its new chef, Satoru Takeuchi, known as Take for short.
Take, a career globetrotter, worked in Tokyo, France, and Luxembourg in his early professional days. Then he joined Hyatt and cooked in Tokyo, Saigon, Macau, and Kuala Lumpur. He hopes to create uncomplicated, gently accented food for Nomi Kitchen. “I fear when I eat, even in a nice restaurant, at the end of the day, there are too many components on the plate, and I don’t always know the quality,” he says. “I will focus on quality and taste. Upscale elements, but simplified, not overpowered by other ingredients or sauces or purées. Just some touch [added to] the main product.”
For example, his beef tartare adds gochujang, the Korean chili paste. His foie gras terrine includes five spice powder and is served with a mango compote and the Japanese spice blend shichimi togarashi.
By the way, Take rhymes with sake—sake the drink, for Pete’s sake.