Rising Star Chef Brad Greenhill of Katoi - Biography

Detroit, MI

November 2016

Before Brad Greenhill decided to pursue cooking professionally, he studied engineering at the University of Michigan, and after graduation played in bands and even started his own record label. Having worked a few restaurant gigs as an undergraduate, Greenhill eventually found himself drawn back to the kitchen. His first formative job was working alongside his friend Michael Bernardino as part of the two-man kitchen at 26-seat Carmen’s in Boston. Despite the restaurant’s critical acclaim, Greenhill felt burned out from 70-hour weeks, and returned to Ann Arbor to found a graphic and web design firm. 

But, once again, the pull of the kitchen was too strong to ignore. Greenhill began hosting dinners, which evolved into a string of pop-ups. By 2013, he had relocated to Detroit, where pop-ups became his full time job. As Greenhill’s work progressed, his palate expanded, and welcomed in everything from Italian and Mediterranean influences, to Southern barbecue, and particularly the flavors of Thailand and Southeast Asia—call it Greenhill’s fish sauce epiphany. That’s what led him to open Katoi as an immobile food truck housed within Two James Distillery, with partner Courtney Henriette. It’s popularity lead to brick and mortar Katoi just down the street (quite literally brick and mortar, Greenhill and Henriette essentially bought four cinderblock walls), where in March 2016, Greenhill walked into his own restaurant as head chef. In the fall of the same year, Greenhill won a StarChefs Rust Belt Rising Star Award.