Masa Miyake was born and raised in the Aomori prefecture in Japan, and moved to Tokyo as a teenager. He grew up working in restaurants, both in his hometown and Tokyo. In 1985 he moved to New York City with his wife. With training in both French and classical Japanese cuisine, it was only natural for him to eventually want to open a restaurant of his own. Moving to Maine in 1995 to raise his family, he bought a house with a few acres of land in Freeport. His dream was to open a restaurant rooted in the Japanese ‘Washoku’ style, drawing on the seasons, the abundance of local seafood, and animals and vegetables raised on his own farm. He opened his first restaurant, Miyake, in a tiny hole-in-the-wall building in downtown Portland. With little more than a dozen seats, and a BYOB policy, he began cooking, and before long Miyake became a neighborhood favorite. He built on that popularity and opened Pai Men Miyake, a ramen shop with cocktails and a large beer list, in the West End.
In 2015 Masa Miyake was named a finalist in the “Best Chef in the Northeast” category by the James Beard Foundation.