A native of Oak Brook, Ill., 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 as well as Slurping Turtle.
When asked his opinion about the most important part of working in the restaurant industry, 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.
Fortunate to grow up in a household full of good cooks, Popli has always had an interest in food. After graduating from college he accepted a job in sales and quickly realized that his passion was for the culinary industry.
When he’s not busy working in the kitchen at Arami, Popli enjoys spending time exploring other restaurants in Chicago, traveling with family and friends and cooking at home. Popli has a Bachelor’s degree in history from Loyola University in Chicago.