Made In Chicago: Slurping Turtle

Steve Miller
June 04, 2018 - 6:00 am
Tadashi Nagura, Slurping Turtle

WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Above the din of diners at a River North restaurant, the chef will be listening.

Listening to hear the sound of happy customers.

Tadashi Nagura, the corporate executive chef at Slurping Turtle, demonstrates the slurp he likes to hear.

"And if you don't do it in front of the chef, that's insulting."

Yes, he said.  "You have to slurp noodles in front of chef.  If you don't, I'd be sad."

The chef came to the U.S. from Japan in the 1990s to study.  But it wasn't culinary school he came here for.

"I was supposed to study chiropractic, which my father does in Japan -- acupuncture and massage in Japan."

And while Nagura was studying chiropractic here, he got a job in a Japanese restaurant to make some spending money.

Turned out, he loved the job.

"And one day I called my father: 'Oh, I want to be a chef.'  He hung up," he laughed.

His father has since comes to terms with it.

"Now he's proud of me.  My mom still don't believe me - that I'm cooking."

Slurping Turtle noodles
WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller

Every day, Chef Tadashi and his staff make noodles from a machine he ordered from Japan.

"It's like a Japanese car.  A Japanese car is so small, but it's got everything there, right?"