Be-Ju Sashimi & Sake Bar
Decorated in tones of cream and earth, Be-Ju is dominated by a sushi bar behind which Shigeki Uchiyama and Hiroki Tanii practice their craft. Be-Ju is dedicated to sushi practiced at a very high level, using the freshest imported and local fish from the surrounding waters. Their training, technique, and attention to detail, preparing each fish to bring out it’s unique characteristics, is what makes Be-Ju so special.
Chef Tom Schaudel
“If it wasn’t for Jimi Hendrix I wouldn’t be a cook,” is a quote Tom has repeated many times. After trying to get the guitar tone on Jimi’s song, Foxy Lady, just right and blowing up his third amplifier, Tom’s dad refused to buy another so he was forced to look for employment. A sign in a restaurant window reading “Help Wanted” lured Tom into a dishwashing job at fifteen years of age and began a forty five year odyssey that continues to this day. After graduating from the C.I.A. in 1973 he has been the driving force behind many top Long Island restaurants such as Panama Hatties, Downtown Grille and Wine Bar, 107 Forest Ave., Lemongrass, Tease, Coolfish, Passionfish, and Starfish. His current line-up is Jewel and Be-Ju in Melville, aMano in Mattituck, aLure in Southold, Ross-Schaudel Catering and Event Planning in Jamesport, and The Petulant Wino in Aquebogue. Tom has had numerous appearances on The Food Network, Channels 12 and 21, Telecare and the Metro Channel N.Y.C. as well as guest radio segments on WOR, WEHM, and KJOY which led to Tom hosting his own radio show, “Playing with Fire” on WHLI, every Saturday morning from 10:00-11:00. His book, “Playing with Fire: Whining and dining on the Gold Coast, published in 2009, won an Indie book “Honorable Mention” award for humor. Tom has a line of ten wines under the Tom Schaudel “Reserve” label that he makes at Paumanok Vineyards and are available exclusively at his restaurants. He has received numerous awards over the years from The James Beard House, The Magro Foundation, The Child Life Rainbow Program, The Wine Spectator, The Wine Enthusiast, The Long Island Food Critic, Island Harvest, Long Island Press Best of the Best, and Dan’s Papers and in 2010 was the inaugural inductee to the Long Island Restaurant Hall of Fame.
Chefs Shigeki Yamamoto and Hiroki Tanii
Shigeki Yamamoto: Yama is one of those rare people who start at the bottom and rise to the top of their profession through sheer dedication. Taking a dishwashing job in Hamasaku restaurant in Kyoto Japan, he met Mr. Miyano, a sushi master. Yama was fascinated by the sushi chefs and their skill with knives, rice and fish. He watched them intently, constantly asking questions and helping them whenever he could. Mr. Miyano noticed the desire in Yama, took him under his wing, and began the long and arduous training process that results in becoming a Master Sushi Chef. Yama was also trained as a kitchen chef by Mr. Miyano and his hot food skills are equal to his cold. In 1983, his training completed, Yama came to New York City to work at the prestigious Nippon Club where he remained for six years. After moving to Long Island in 1990 he worked at Yamaguchi in Port Washington, Shiro of Japan in Carle Place, and Nagashima in Jericho where he and Tom became friends. In 2004 Tom was a consultant in opening the first steak and sushi restaurant on Long Island, Thom Thom in Wantagh, and tapped Yama to head the opening team, believing him to be one of the finest sushi chefs he’d ever met. After Thom Thom Yama went to the beautiful Garden City Hotel until 2013 when he decided to join Tom in opening Be-Ju. Yama is the heart and soul of Be-Ju and his skills are on full display. Whether you choose Omakase, Kaiseki, or just sit at the sushi bar, you’re in expert hands letting Yama feed you. In his down time you’ll find Yama in Montauk, where he says he has gotten some of the finest fish he has ever seen, or watching his beloved New York Jets. Possessing a mischievous sense of humor, Yama once told Tom, “I can’t work Sundays or Mondays. Sundays I have to watch the Jets and Mondays I have to heal.”
Hiroki Tanii: Trained at Hattori College in Tokyo, Tanii graduated as a Certified Master Chef in 1976. That same year he arrived in New York to work at Nippon Restaurant in New York City. Nippon, a 3 star New York Times restaurant, was established in 1963 as America’s first sushi bar. Tanii quickly rose to the position of head sushi chef and held the job for twenty eight years. While at Nippon he was honored to prepare food for the First Class in-flight meals of Japan, Delta, and United Airlines. In 2004 Tanii left Nippon to head the team at Daruma of Tokyo in Great Neck where he remained for nine years until joining Tom at Be-Ju. While working at Daruma of Tokyo and due to his stellar reputation and easygoing manner, Tanii was asked to prepare sushi for the All-Star game at Citi Field, as well as The American Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. Tanii brings a vast amount of experience and talent to Be-Ju. His expertise in preparing Omakase and Kaiseki are essential to the experience at Be-Ju. Tanii is also one of the select few sushi chefs licensed to prepare Torafugu, the potentially deadly Japanese blowfish. While he’s not practicing his craft you will find Tanii enjoying a baseball game or training for the New York City Marathon; a feat he has completed ten times.