Chef Atsushi Kono’s favorite part of a chicken is its main artery, known colloquially in his native Japan as hatsumoto. But not one to play favorites, Kono honors each chicken by using every part of the bird, from that coveted artery, to neck skin and belly skin, to even the knee bone.
Kono is the presiding chef of New York City’s Torishin — a Michelin-starred restaurant that specializes in yakitori, Japanese-style skewered and grilled chicken. “Yakitori allows you to enjoy specific parts of the chicken separately,” says Kono. “Customers can enjoy the different flavor, texture, and fat of the chicken.”
Kono has been studying yakitori for twelve years now, at one point under yakitori master Yoshito Inomata. “We say it takes three years to learn the skewers,” says Kono. “And a lifetime to learn how to grill.”