Esteemed sushi chef Toshio Oguma of Tanoshi Sushi died Thursday afternoon after a battle against stomach cancer, his daughter Olivia Oguma tells Eater.
The chef was known for his expert handiwork at the Upper East Side omakase restaurant, which was considered one of NYC’s best. Tanoshi swung open in 2013, and as the head chef, Oguma worked to preserve the classic sushi tradition, tracing back to the cuisine’s humble roots and using few but significant ingredients.
Tanoshi’s remaining chefs, who were trained by Oguma, have been operating the restaurant since June, when his illness forced him to step away from the business. The small UES venue is one of the more affordable options for omakase in town, but despite the under-$100 price tag, it has been revered as one of New York’s highest quality menus, in part due to Oguma’s expertise. It will remain open.
Loyal fans and customers have donated over $23,000 to his family through an online fundraiser, and some have taken to Twitter and Instagram to express their condolences:
Toshio Oguma has passed away. There are no words to describe how deep a loss this is. His legacy and importance in sushi in America will remain immortal. Gomeifuku wo oinori itashi-masu, Oguma-san. Thank you for everything you taught me and provided to me, my friend. pic.twitter.com/XgFN1AlslK— Tom Kretchmar (@tkretchmar) October 4, 2018
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Very bad news coming out of the New York sushi world. Toshio Oguma, the master chef behind Tanoshi Sushi on the Upper East Side, has passed away. Sadly, this is the only photo I have of him from my very first visit. Tanoshi is BYOB so I brought @yamatozakura which was probably the first and only time someone drank that shochu at Tanoshi. Pictured also is Oguma-san’s apprentice @oonatempest who now runs @sushibybae ... the lesson with Oguma-san’s passing is don’t put off until tomorrow what you could do today. I wish I had eaten his sushi much more than I did given that his shop was very close to my office. RIP chef. #tanoshisushi #sushi #ogumatoshio #rip #寿司 #楽しい寿司 #japaneats #nyceats