Nobuaki “Nobu” Ishikawa, a 20-year restaurant industry veteran, serves as executive chef at Warmack in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Chef Nobu was born in Gaffney, South Carolina and grew up in Hendersonville, North Carolina. His heritage is Japanese, so perhaps – despite his roots in the American South – he was destined to become a sushi chef.
He worked at a number of Asian spots in Asheville soaking up all the knowledge he could from each. In 2007, Chef Nobu moved to Charlotte and continued to perfect his culinary skills at Nikko, Cyros and Pisces. In 2012, he joined Bonsai Fusion in the 7th Street Station, where he had an ownership stake. After closing Bonsai in 2019, he joined Yama, where he made sushi at both the Plaza Midwood and Waverly locations.
Of his varied experience in a number of Asian fusion kitchens over the years, Chef Nobu said, “I’m never not learning. Every day is growth.” His background is ideally suited to leading the kitchen in an Asian comfort food restaurant. “Warmack is my challenge,” he said. “It’s time to use all my knowledge to create an exceptional experience for our guests.”
Chef Nobu highlights the yakisoba, a stir-fried egg noodle dish with cabbage, carrots and onion in a sweet-savory sauce, as among his favorite dishes. There’s a sweet note on the menu: “Dedicated to Mrs. Ishikawa.”