Rising Star Chef Adam Tortosa of Robin - Biography

San Francisco, CA

May 2019

Adam Tortosa grew up in San Diego, and studied international business at the University of Southern California. On a whim, he googled “sushi chef school Los Angeles” and was soon studying at the Miyako Sushi and Washoku School under Sushi Master Katsuya Uechi of Katsu-ya Group. With little knowledge of Japanese culture, Tortosa had quite the mountain to climb. But even though the first thing Tortosa learned was the word “baca” (meaning idiot), he worked hard enough to obtain a job with Uechi. At Katsuya, he was not allowed to touch the fish for a year and a half, and the tuna for three years, so his early focus was vegetables. The Japanese discipline gave Tortosa a great respect for ingredients and an indelible work ethic.
After five years, Tortosa left Katsuya to study modern American food and follow his chef-crush Michael Voltaggio to Ink in West Hollywood. He left to open 1760 in San Francisco as executive chef, where he remained for a year. Tortosa took a brief break from restaurants, working as a private chef, planning extravagant sushi dinners at private homes, reminding him of his love for Japanese cuisine. He joined Akiko’s Sushi, and after two years, Tortosa was behind the counter of his own sushi restaurant: Robin. With its sleek interior and welcoming, neon pink vibe, the intimidation factor is low while the fun, flavor, and flare of the omakase-style of service is high.