Executive Chef Yo Matsuzaki
Born into a family of orange farmers on the Japanese island of Shikoku, Chef Matsuzaki was taught from a young age to respect nature and the bounty of the earth. He learned the essentials of cooking at his grandmother’s side before going on to collect more than two decades worth of professional restaurant experience in the United States, including stints working with Drew Nieporent at Montrachet and Masaharu Morimoto at Nobu. A graduate of New York City’s Peter Kemp Culinary School, Matsuzaki cooked at San Francisco’s Rubicon, Farallon and Ozumo before landing at Zentan, where he brings his passion for the contemporary Japanese culinary style of izakaya dining to DC.
Lead Bartender Matt Allred
Zentan lead bartender Matt Allred is a student of cocktail cultures from around the world, a passion that syncs perfectly with Zentan’s Japanese influenced craft cocktail program. His first foray into the restaurant industry, Matt began at Robert Wiedmaier’s Brasserie Beck, where he gravitated toward German and Belgian beers. He later moved to Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak where he became immersed in craft cocktails. After Bourbon Steak, Matt helped to open Quench, a gastropub in Rockville. There he got to build a bar program from the ground up, literally. At the helm for two years, Matt established a core group of regulars—an industry trait he loves above all. Matt assumed the role of lead bartender at Zentan in the fall of 2014.
At Zentan, Matt enjoys working closely with Chef Yo to develop innovative collaborations between the bar and kitchen to ensure beautifully complimentary food and beverage pairings in the style of izakaya dining and delving even deeper into the world of Japanese whiskys, sake and cocktail culture.