Katoi was born out of a cosmic joke. Courtney wanted a food truck to throw dinner parties in secret locations, and Chef Brad wanted to open a restaurant. Their friends had just opened a distillery (Two James) and thought they were ABSOLUTELY CRAZY but needed to feed their spirit drunk patrons. And the other half of their building happened to be empty. "You fools buy a food truck, and you can make your dining room here." The fools stepped to the challenge.
They begged, stole, and borrowed to buy the cheapest truck they could find—a broken down SWAT van with a reputation, they later discovered, for being towed to events. No matter. It was a kitchen. But what to make?
Chef Brad made Italian food. In fact, Chef Brad made a lot of things—records, websites, friends with bartenders—but that's another story. Anyway, he'd been making Italian food for years. For a time in Ann Arbor. For a time in Boston. But mostly in his kitchen and his friends' kitchens—serving first to his friends and later to strangers. Over time he found himself drawn to the philosophy of balance found in SE Asian cooking. Lime was replacing lemon, fish sauce was replacing salt, coconut milk was vying with dairy. And then KATOI!
The fools didn't have a business plan or a plan B or, it would turn out, a working vehicle—so WHY NOT THAI FOOD?! Brad had been studying for years and what better way to take it to the next level then to just START COOKING. They bought a few picnic tables, hired some employees, and BOOM! KATOI was born.
Chef Brad studied and executed—traditional Thai dishes, Mediterranean dishes through a Thai lens, dishes that came to him in dreams. In short, he made WHATEVER THE FUCK HE WANTED. And people responded. Favorites became staples. Failures were forgotten. And the stories from Thailand started coming in from all directions. Even their masseuse wanted to talk Khao Soi.
It was nothing short of magical. And the lesson: IF YOU WANT TO LEARN SOMETHING, JUST START DOING IT.
A few months in, when they were—to EVERYONE'S surprise—still making it through the winter, cooking in a truck in a THIRD world garage, driving two car loads of dishes down the street and up a flight of stairs EVERY NIGHT, they brought in their pal, Philip. The three of them immediately and absolutely FELL IN LOVE, both with Chef Brad's food and with LIFE. So they started making a home in the old garage across the way that would come to be known as THE MOTHERSHIP.
And here we are.
DIRECTOR OF FOOD
CHEF BRAD GREENHILL
DIRECTOR OF EXPERIENCE & SENSATION
DIRECTOR OF SPACE