Click here for ADA Accessibility Information

Trained amongst some of the most recognized chefs and forward-thinking Japanese restaurants in the country, Chef Masatomo Hamaya has played a key role in several major award recognitions. Now, with Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market located in Downtown Doral, Chef Masa explores and expands on the traditional Japanese comfort foods that he enjoyed in his youth. 

Born and raised in Japan, Chef Masa was instilled with a love of food early on by his mother, a fantastic cook in her own right, who always centered his family’s day around a great homemade meal. Masa came to the United States to enroll in college at Arizona State University and returned home to Tokyo to matriculate in cooking school. With culinary degree in tow, Masa journeyed back to America to embark on an impressive career with stints as Head Sushi Chef at Uchi, James Beard Award Winner Tyson Cole’s restaurant in Austin, Texas; Executive Chef at Ozumo in San Francisco.

“Even though it’s known for sushi, Japanese food is so much more,” says Masa. “The diversity and the simplistic flavor profiles that are so dominant in the cuisine are really a big part in the surge of its popularity.” Masa, who describes his cooking style as “minimal” believes that “the finesse of Japanese food is addition through subtraction. Limiting the number of ingredients just makes for better food.” 

As Chef de Cuisine at Dragonfly Izakaya and Fish Market, Masa is driven by innovation, a dedication to his craft and to creating meaningful connections with the restaurant’s guests and employees. Masa currently resides in Doral, Florida with his wife and daughter. When he isn’t in the kitchen he can be found spending time with his family or sipping a cold one by the water.

More about Masatomo Hamaya

What is your ultimate comfort food?Chawanmushi. I love how the delicate texture of Chawanmushi takes on the flavors of what you cook it with. It's a treat whether you're using it with seafood or vegetables. It's not a dish that everyone has tried - but they should!If you weren't a chef, what would you be?A racecar driver - and living down here in South Florida, I've been practicing daily. I may actually already be able to qualify now.What three things are always in your pantry?Fresh vegetables, togarashi, and bonito.If you could cook with anyone in the world, who would it be?A room full of amateur and aspiring chefs. I love to share my passion for food and seeing the joy that new chefs bring to their cooking re-inspires my personal passion.