Kanpai owner and chef, Jayson Munoz, was born in the mountains of Colorado and lived in St. Louis before earning his business and human resources degree. Knowing he eventually wanted to own a restaurant, Munoz wished to obtain a degree with an emphasis on training.
During and after college, Munoz worked in a number of fields related to the restaurant business before moving to Newburgh, IN and settling down at Kanpai.
Munoz was familiar with Kanpai under the previous owner due to his parents being frequent patrons. When the opportunity came to buy the business, he knew he had to do it. Since then, his expectations have been far exceeded by the response and business is booming.
In February 2012, Munoz and his sous-chef Richard Morales took home the first place trophy from Evansville’s Steel Cook competition. They have also received awards such as Evansville Living’s Best of Evansville 2012 award and the 2011 Evansville Courier & Press Reader’s Choice Gold Winner Award.
Munoz strives to bring Evansville a sushi and Asian bistro with a big-city feel without the big city prices. However, he doesn’t look at new restaurants as competition. Rather, he views them more as friends to join forces to bring education and enhancement to the Evansville food scene.