Chef of the Year Award: 2013

Mr. Shu, executive chef of Umi, is honored for his consistent perfection.




Photo by Laura Petrilla
 

 

In a year filled with new local dining trends and restaurants, it’s particularly significant that Mr. Shu of Umi takes our Chef of the Year honor, which he also received in 2003. This is because Mr. Shu quietly accomplishes what few can do: make consistently perfect food each year. He adds a personal touch to each dish, whether creating something on his own or supervising a member of his crew. His presence is so important that Umi, one of six big Burrito restaurants, closes when Mr. Shu travels.

After cooking in New York City kitchens for a decade, Mr. Shu originally came to the Steel City in the late 1990s to help a restaurateur friend add Japanese fare to his menu. There Mr. Shu, a native of Taiwan, became the sushi chef and met sushi fan Tom Baron, one of big Burrito’s founders; Baron eventually convinced Mr. Shu to join him in starting Umi. The rest, as they say, is history.

Mr. Shu describes his food as traditional with a modern interpretation. “I get my inspiration from many places,” he says. “If I like something, I want to share it with other people. My customers are my friends, and I appreciate them. They are good people who push me to do my best.”

The focal point of Umi’s menu is raw fish. “We [serve] the highest quality fish we can get and are on the phone every day working with our suppliers,” Mr. Shu says. “Our fish comes from around the world; we get [it] from the same place Nobu [in New York] gets theirs.”

Umi has been on our Best Restaurants list every year since it first opened in 2000, and many still consider it one of Pittsburgh’s overall top eateries. We salute Mr. Shu for being such a vital part of our dining scene.

Umi
5849 Ellsworth Ave., Shadyside
412/362-6198, bigburrito.com/umi

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Best of the 'Burgh 2017

Host an event in Pittsburgh’s urban sustainable homestead. Join a club for mushroom hunters. Tour a coal mine. Listen to some banjo music. We list our new favorite experiences, food, drink, personalities, stores, items and activities in the ’Burgh.
Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Daytripping: The ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Fourteen years ago this month, the mighty Kinzua Viaduct met its match.
Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

Restaurant Review: The Café Carnegie

The restaurant, run by Dinette’s Sonja J. Finn, boosts the dining experience at the Carnegie museums in Oakland.
Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

Thrive: Smooth Moves While Getting Lost in the Music

FASTER Pittsburghʼs Hip Hop Cardio promises to get your workout into a groove.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins Video Tribute to Marc-André Fleury

With a tear in our eye, we bid the “Flower” Au Revoir.
Finally, a Faster Way From Pittsburgh to Oakland and Beyond

Finally, a Faster Way From Pittsburgh to Oakland and Beyond

A proposed route for new electric buses will connect 30,000 people throughout 24 neighborhoods.
Extras Wanted: Cate Blanchett Shooting Movie in Pittsburgh

Extras Wanted: Cate Blanchett Shooting Movie in Pittsburgh

“Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” a movie based on the best-selling comedic novel, will begin filming in the ‘Burgh next month.
What We Know about Anthony Bourdain’s Visit to Pittsburgh

What We Know about Anthony Bourdain’s Visit to Pittsburgh

While Bourdain and his crew aren’t talking, they left plenty of hints about what’s likely to be in the Pittsburgh episode of “Parts Unknown.”
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Best Restaurants 2013

2013 Best Restaurants: Readers' Poll Winners

2013 Best Restaurants: Readers' Poll Winners

Your favorite eateries in the 'Burgh in 48 categories — from comfort food to sushi to small plates.
Best Restaurants 2013

Best Restaurants 2013

Presenting 34 of the finest, freshest and most forward-thinking restaurants in Pittsburgh. Bon appetit!
Chef of the Year Award: 2013

Chef of the Year Award: 2013

Mr. Shu, executive chef of Umi, is honored for his consistent perfection.
Delicious Design Award: 2013

Delicious Design Award: 2013

Vallozzi’s new downtown location is a stunning combination of old-world Tuscany with classy modern touches.
Star Chef Award: 2013

Star Chef Award: 2013

Justin Severino, owner of Lawrenceville's Cure and a national rising star.
Best New Restaurant: 2013

Best New Restaurant: 2013

Chef Matthew Porco's Italian-inspired Sienna Sulla Piazza is lighting up Market Square.
Best Restaurants 2013: Editors' Picks

Best Restaurants 2013: Editors' Picks

We shine the light on some of our favorite new restaurants that are giving the local foodie scene a boost of energy.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module