Jared Lupin of Umami: "I Try to Have That Visionary Brain, But With Food"
Lauren Saria Jared Lupin of Umami
It might be more accurate to call Umami's Jared Lupin a ramen artist rather than a chef. After all, he really is one -- a former graffiti artist whose work once graced a wall at his restaurant. But he also takes a creative approach to ramen that makes the dish more personal than customers might realize.
"I've given it back to the people," Lupin says of the trendy Japanese dish.
As Umami fans will know, it's been a rough few months for Lupin and the whole restaurant crew. A small fire started by an ice machine shut the restaurant down for about two months. Originally Lupin has estimated they would be back up and running in a matter of days, but the smoke damage and insurance companies made a quick return impossible.
Lauren Saria Lupin inside the Tempe restaurant.
But Lupin didn't let the down town go to waste. He spent the last few months focusing on creating new stocks to add the menu and has already debuted a few new menu items including cold noodles in ramen as well as rice and buckwheat varieties.
Allowing diners to customize their bowl of ramen is what Lupin is all about. He doesn't chase a vision of a specific type of ramen and doesn't bother with questions of authenticity when it comes to the dish.
"Authentic to who?" Lupin asks. "[Ramen] is all about the community style."