Asia Society Texas Center

Seasonal and Local: Houston’s New Take on Japanese Cuisine

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 – Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019

01:45 PM – 03:00 PM

tuna brisket nigiri 2

Tuna brisket nigiri. Photo courtesy of Shun Japanese Kitchen.

Houston is no stranger to Japanese food: from top-end sushi restaurants to wallet-friendly ramen joints, nearly every neighborhood in the city offers some choice of Japanese cuisine. From both a dining and business perspective, how to stand out in Houston's diverse culinary scene is a challenge.

At Shun Japanese Kitchen, Chef Naoki Yoshida hopes to popularize the Japanese izakaya (neighborhood pub) among the Houston audience by combining seasonal ingredients and Texas-inspired fusion with the basics of Japanese cooking techniques, flavors, and ingredients. A second-generation chef who grew up in the restaurant business at his family's Montrose sushi restaurant Nippon, Chef Yoshida has also trained in Japan, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. Join Asia Society as he draws upon this diverse experience to explore how to combine a personal, authentic approach to Japanese cuisine with a robust business strategy to succeed at Shun. Shun's executive chef Jeff Potts joins him for the discussion.

Light bites and a sake tasting will be available following the program.

Buy Tickets

$20 Members, $30 Nonmembers


Saturday, December 7, 2019
1:45 p.m. Registration
2 p.m. Program

About the Speakers


Naoki Yoshida

Chef Naoki Yoshida has been training under his father at Nippon Restaurant for the past 20 years. Being a local native born in Houston and being the only second-generation Japanese & Sushi Chef in Houston, Naoki was exposed to flavors and idea most Japanese chefs would never be able to comprehend. He has worked in California, Miami, Chicago, and Japan focusing on honing his skills and bringing new concepts of Japanese cuisine and flavors to Houston. Naoki believed the true essence of Japanese cuisine has been fading and recreated a new experience which would be more approachable to guests. In 2017 Naoki opened Shun Japanese Kitchen with his wife Renee (Pastry Chef) to explore new realms of Japanese food with the concept of Second Generation Japanese Food. Naoki and his team have combined Japanese cuisine with Houston inspiration that locals have grown up eating. “Shun” is defined as the best time to serve seasonal food, and the restaurant rotates seasonal food such as vegetables, fish, fruits every season.


Jeff Potts

Chef Jeff Potts is executive chef at Shun. He is Houston born and grew up in South Florida, where he was exposed to a variety of cuisines at a young age. His passion for cooking comes from 14 years of experience in the industry having worked in Orlando, Colorado, and now in Houston for 8 years under some of the most influential chefs in the industry. He strives to represent the diversity of Houston to create a new take on modern Japanese fare.

Moderator information will be announced.

Asia Society Texas Center Business & Policy Programs, Endowed by

Huffington Foundation

Business and Policy programs at Asia Society Texas Center are presented by Bank of America, Muffet Blake, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, United Airlines, and Wells Fargo. Major support comes from Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Nancy Pollok Guinee, and Mary Lawrence Porter, as well as The Brown Foundation, Inc. and Houston Endowment. Additional funding is provided by the Friends of Asia Society Texas Center, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing the best in public programming.

Business & Policy Presenting Sponsors

B&P Sponsors FY2020

Japan Series Presenting Sponsor

Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)


  • Tuesday - Friday, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
    Closed Mondays and major holidays
  • $20 Members, $30 Nonmembers

Directions & Parking

  • Free Parking
  • Paid Parking
  • Street Parking
  • Parking in Asia Society Texas Center's lot is $5 for 1-24 hours. Entrances on Caroline and Austin. Limited free and paid street parking also available.

Special Offers / Dining

An India-Inspired Café
Enjoy breakfast and lunch at Pondi! Pondicheri's museum café is open for extended lunch hours Tuesday through Sunday with a vibrant and innovative menu featuring everything from butter chicken to saffron shrimp salad and roti wraps.
Tuesday – Friday, 11 am – 5 pm
Saturday – Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm


Events at Asia Society Texas Center

Join the Houston Museum District

Join our mailing list for sneak peeks to upcoming events and insider information on the best museum district in the world

I'm interested in memberships