Chief Operating Officer, T.I.C. Restaurant Group, New York City
Merging tradition and modernity
A restaurateur, saké expert and proud single mother, Yagi’s day-to-day routine is a complex juggling act that includes oversight of her family’s 13 Japanese restaurants. New York City izakayas like Sakagura and Decibel are pioneers and two of the most beloved saké destinations outside of Japan. A second-generation restaurateur, Yagi says her mission is to maintain her family’s homage to traditional Japanese cuisine and drinks culture, while executing a dramatic revamp to modernize the family’s empire of eateries. She sees her restaurants as “a breeding ground for saké enthusiasts” that educates guests and cultivates generations of new professionals who will promote the beverage around the world.