As You Like It from Chef Ajay Popli + Chef Nelson Vinansaca at Arami
Chef Ajay Popli +
Chef Nelson Vinansaca
As You Like It

As You Like It : The Cuisine
The forest of Arden comes alive in Shakespeare’s As You Like It with cross-dressing lovers and a slew of mistaken identities. This pastoral comedy begs the question “can one desire too much of a good thing?” (Act IV, Scene 1). Chefs Ajay Popli and Nelson Vinansaca riff on this iconic phrase by creating a decadent dish of Maguro and Wagyu—the highest quality blue fin tuna and Japanese W5 wagyu beef, served in four decadent preparations: tartare, nigiri, sashimi and tataki. A bold and daring dish for two.

Chef Ajay Popli + Chef Nelson VinansacaChef Ajay Popli + Chef Nelson Vinansaca
Chef Ajay Popli has worked at Arami since June of 2013. He started as a line cook, was promoted to sous chef and has been the Chef de Cuisine since May of 2015. Prior to joining Arami, he worked at both Sushi Dokku in the West Loop and Slurping Turtle. Popli says, “At the end of the day, it should be about making people happy—that’s at the core.” At Arami, Popli’s focus is on using high quality ingredients without obscuring them. He aims at showcasing technique and discipline when he prepares each dish and likes to experiment with new ingredients to make traditional Japanese cuisine more modern.
Chef Nelson Vinansaca has gained acclaim as one of the masters of Sushi in Chicago. His expertly prepared dishes have become the gold standard of sushi in the Windy City. His artful presentations as well along with his grounded flavors have gained him great acclaim and four Michelin Bib Gourmand recognitions. In an effort to spread his love of sushi, Chef Vinansaca teaches “make your own sushi” classes once a month in Arami’s kitchen.

About Arami
Located in West Town, Arami highlights traditional Japanese comfort food from Chef Ajay Popli and sushi from Chef Nelson Vinansaca. Arami has received four Bib Gourmands, including the recent 2016 honor. Arami is the brother restaurant to Ani, located in Lakeview, both are owned by Ty Fujimura.