Living Outside the Box: Indy's Greatest Hibachi Chef

Victor isn’t your typical Parisian-born, turned hibachi chef, culinary artist.  While most of us find ourselves living up to the status quo, every so often you come across a brave soul who stepped outside of society’s box of expectations, and like Victor, hibachi-d their way to carve their own path - so to speak.  

When he was ten-years-old, Victor’s parents moved from Paris to Plainfield to take over their friend’s Chinese fast food restaurant.  (…and when I say Paris…I don’t mean New Paris, Indiana …I mean actual Paris.  As in Paris, France, ya’ll!)  Five years later, they opened their own Hibachi restaurant.   And while Victor spent most of his childhood years immersed in the restaurant industry, his parents, being “typically Asian” as Victor describes, wanted him to study to become a doctor, or a lawyer, or an engineer.    

I went to school for five years studying electrical and computer engineering,” explains Victor, “I didn’t enjoy it.

He also didn’t enjoy eating ramen, pizza, and Chinese fast food all the time.  Taking note of the hibachi chefs at his parents’ hibachi restaurant, he decided to try his hand at the hibachi grill so at least he’d know how to cook delicious food for himself.  

I enjoyed learning hibachi,” says Victor, “I kept with it and several months later, I still liked it!  I wondered if I could do hibachi for a living.

With a lot of practice, repetition, and patience, Victor began learning more tricks.  It was challenging at first, trying to keep up with the more experienced hibachi chefs.  The most difficult trick, describes Victor, was learning to spin the spatula around his finger.  But once you get used to it, you add on to what you know and it becomes easier, he further explains.

Going on nine years now as a hibachi chef, Victor continues to seize everyday as a challenge to better himself and his hibachi skills.  His favorite tricks are the ones that involve playing with fire.  So much so, that he’s developing more ways to play with fire!  Currently, he’s working on a fireball trick: creating a ball of fire with his hands and then tossing the fireball onto something, like the onion volcano, causing it to ignite.  (He’s like a hibachi wizard!)   

The most rewarding part of my job is the fact that culinary is an art.  I get to create something in front of people and see them enjoy my work right in front of me.  And that’s satisfying.

Ask for a reservation with Victor at Fujiyama Steakhouse of Japan:
Located conveniently off Emerson and I465
5149 Victory Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46203
(317) 787-7900

Watch Victor in action:


Love Japanese food? Then you'll love this self-guided Indianapolis tour you can download to your phone! (Click for more info)