Yakuza’s backstory is as flavorful as its dishes. Executive Chef and Owner, Jay Areechot, moved from Thailand to the United States to fulfill his passion in the food industry. Jay is self-taught and possessed a natural flair behind the sushi bar as well as the kitchen. After mastering the essentials, he sought out mentorship by several acclaimed Japanese chefs to acquire knowledge from the very best.
The name Yakuza is Japanese, which translates to “Japanese Syndicates” in English. Inspiration for the name and theme of the restaurant were discovered at a local restaurant in Japan, that Jay and Mini Areechot had visited during their earlier entrepreneurial days. With Jay’s gift in the culinary arts, combined with Mini’s business savviness, Yakuza was born.
In theory, the concept of Yakuza was simple – Japanese sushi and Thai cuisines. In Thailand, where is no shortage of food, people will eat at any time of the day or night. The food there is bold with flavor but very original. This was their driving concept for Yakuza. Jay, who was fascinated with Japanese food, especially sushi, became a master at his craft and is eager to share his creations. Together they brought both cuisines and fused them into something both beautiful, unique and delicious.
Owner / Executive Chef Jay
Chef Jay is a Thai native, who originally moved to US to study in the culinary arts. He started working at the family restaurant in North Miami, Thai House 2. Having just moved here in 1998, his first job was a busser, wanting to become a sushi chef; he would volunteer to help out. He quickly got promoted to become a roll boy because of his enthusiasm and his work ethics. It was during the time when the fusion trend took off (Sushi and Thai theme restaurant). The restaurant needed more sushi chef at the new location, Jay was promoted and moved to Deerfield beach. Working for another family owned restaurant, Tamarind. He took on his first roll as a head chef. He was responsible for over looking the sushi bar operation at a young age. He would observe different dishes and techniques from his mentors and incorporate them into his skill set. Now, with many years of experience under this knife, Chef Jay is proud to present his finest creations at Yakuza Modern Japanese and Thai.
Head chef at Tamarind Asian Grill and Sushi Bar
Head chef and co-owner of Tee-Jay Thai Sushi, 2 locations.
Apprenticed at Zuma Miami, sou-sushi chef.
Apprenticed at Kuro Japanese - Hard Rock Seminole
Apprenticed at Marumi Japanese Kitchen