Kent Rathbun: A Chef’s Journey


It’s been a long road, but Chef Kent Rathbun is officially back in action. After more than three years of red tape following his departure from Abacus, Jasper’s and Hickory, Rathbun is now free of any restrictions.

Diners can find Rathbun working in the kitchen at Imoto, the sushi and pan-Asian restaurant he opened in Victory Park in 2018. To keep things fresh, Rathbun and Imoto executive sushi chef Jimmy Duke recently traveled to Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto to learn new flavors and techniques.  With the help of chef de cuisine Steve McHugh, they have updated the Imoto menu to include Japanese curry, new sushi items, a smoked udon noodle bowl and a sashimi salad inspired by items they ate at Tokyo’s fish market.

They have also introduced live-fire grills, which are similar to small hibachis for the table. There the chefs can feature different types of fish and meat, plus a yakitori of the day that diners cook for themselves in a fun, interactive experience.

In addition to Imoto, Rathbun is keeping busy with private events, catering, teaching cooking classes, developing new products and consulting. He also invites guests to join the Rathbun Test Kitchen, a built-in text messaging system, which allows Rathbun to communicate directly with subscribers about upcoming wine dinners, culinary tours, classes and special events. To subscribe, simply text the word RATHBUN to 888111 and you’re in!

To re-establish his personal brand after years of not being able to use his own name, Rathbun has launched, a shiny new website that will keep diners apprised of his activity.

“I’m so excited to move forward with this new chapter of my career,” said Rathbun. “Leaving Abacus, Jasper’s and Hickory was a difficult but necessary step to proceed in this new direction. I’m glad to have my name back in my own possession. But most importantly, I’m now able to interact and engage with all of the DFW diners and loyal patrons I’ve had the privilege of meeting and cooking for throughout the years.”

To learn more about Chef Rathbun, including his restaurants, events and catering services, please visit

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