Who is the chef at Masa and what is his background?

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Masa is the eponymous Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant from chef-owner Masa Takayama, who opened the New York hotspot in the Time Warner Center in 2004. Takayama was born in Tochigi, Japan, where his parents owned a fish shop and catering business. He grew up cooking and learning about the fish industry as a child and later moved to Tokyo where he worked his way up from a dish washer to become sushi chef at the legendary Ginza Sushi-ko restaurant.

Takayama moved to Los Angeles in 1980, where he worked at numerous sushi restaurants before opening his own, which he named Ginza Sushi-ko, in honor of the place where he got his start. Ginza Sushi-ko became a well-known restaurant before Takayama sold it to his sous chef and moved to New York to open Masa and its more casual sister-restaurant Bar Masa.

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