About Us

Our Story

Step off the square and into a whole new Madison. Just seconds from the Capitol, you’ll find the city’s most exciting dining experience. It starts with our menu that spans continents and goes far beyond sushi. It’s echoed in our bold interior design and presented to you by our knowledgeable staff, dedicated to exceeding your dining expectations. The sculpted interior space is the perfect place for you to relax in the lounge, grab a romantic dinner or overwhelm each of your senses with an exclusive dinner at our chef’s table. Every moment at RED intends to create a memorable experience and one you come back to again and again.

Co-Owners Tanya Zhykharevich and Jack Yip might seem like an unlikely pairing to develop a restaurant, but this pair from the opposite ends of the planet has come together to create one of Madison’s most exciting restaurants.

When they opened in 2011, it was both founders’ first foray into starting a business. With Jack as the executive chef and Tanya behind the scenes, RED became the restaurant they wanted and the one they felt Madison needed. The duo’s desire to create a dining experience that was more than great food brought RED initial success. Tanya and Jack’s commitment to their vision has now led them to restaurant’s exciting new location, and it keeps RED at the forefront of fine dining in Madison.

Meet Our Team

Tanya Zhykharevich - Owner

 

Tanya

Founder

With her mother’s excellent cooking always in mind and her father’s intuition and execution skills, Tanya immigrated to the United States from Belarus in 2005. With her degree in Engineering in Automation and a passion to learn and grow, she began her service career in Chicago. After some time and developing her skills, Tanya moved to Madison with excitement and big dreams.

It was here in Madison where she met her business partner, Jack. On little operating experience and a humble savings account, together they opened RED on King Street in 2011. Tanya was dedicated to achieving her goal in creating a dynamic, exciting dining experience and achieved this through perseverance and constant learning. Now, after upgrading to a larger space, Tanya focuses on teaching her staff to push their idea of hospitality to the highest degree.

Although the bustling restaurant and her passionate personality surround her, Tanya is an introvert at heart. She enjoys spending her free time with her dog Cocoa, a glass of wine, and a great book.

Jack Yip - Owner

Jack

Founder

Jack Yip’s journey to Sushi Chef and Co-Owner of Madison’s RED is as unique as his edible creations. It was inevitable that he would arrive on the scene as pioneer Chef in his field. As a young child, Jack was exposed and guided by his mother, who in her own right was a great cook; teaching him the importance of fresh ingredients and how to eat consciously. Always enjoying a challenge, Yip began to study with culinary experts, Satoshi Wakamura to sharpen his skills. With dedication and close attention to detail he began to develop a keen eye and love of Japanese cuisine. His attention then and today focuses on the marriage of traditional techniques and modern global cooking.

Madison, WI became the place where he could begin to bring his dream of raising the culinary bar to life. Noting that the food culture in the Midwest was building, he didn’t hesitate to think bigger and work to develop a menu for a wide range of palates skillfully as he prepared for the second incarnation of RED’s menu as it is today. Chef Jack loves to pay attention to culinary trends, food and dining esthetics, while maintaining his passion for creative and beautiful cuisine.

Taryn Johnson

General Manager

Taryn, with an understanding of fine dining and exceptional service, has worked in the restaurant industry since high school. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Journalism she went on to work with restaurants in the notable BOKA Group and Lettuce Entertain You in Chicago. During May of 2017, Taryn joined RED as a floor manager. Her wisdom, patience, and knack for superior service brought her to her current position as RED’s General Manager. When she’s isn’t choreographing a beautiful service plan, you can find her dining and enjoying every minute of her experience. A little known fact is that Taryn has the ability to beautifully describe her favorite charcuterie and love of Chateauneuf-du-Pape in intoxicating détail.

Chloe Madison

Front of House Manager

Classically trained in theater, Chloe has been ‘daylighting’ in the restaurant industry for 13 years moving through cafes, bakeries, and restaurants while building her theater career in California, New York, and Pennsylvania. With an incredible passion for team-oriented service, storytelling, and quality food, she found her way to RED only 2 years after moving to Madison, originally to work with Children’s Theater of Madison. When she isn’t watching the floor at RED, you can most definitely find her anywhere outside, or perhaps touring the local coffee shops for the best cortado (her current favorite is Wonderstate’s, with a touch of maple)!

Josie Hardell

Front of House Manager

Josie’s passion for hospitality has followed her through high school, college and beyond. Initially a member of our serving staff, Josie’s love of guest interactions and desire to lead, led her to become part of the management team. She has adapted to the new role quickly with help from her mentors Rachel and Taryn. With a degree in Community and Nonprofit Leadership, Josie hopes to one day focus on issues of youth disparity in health, education and social justice.

Carolyn Eschmeyer

Accountant and Human Resource Manager

Carolyn obtained her Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting from Aurora University and has worked as a professional accountant for the past 17 years. She joined RED in March of 2017, using her expertise to provide strategic direction for the company. Carolyn is a wizard at creating spreadsheets, but life isn’t always data-driven. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, whether it’s embarking on their next adventure or spending time by the pool. Carolyn is also an avid quilter noting her favorite creation is a bug quilt she crafted to match her daughter’s treehouse-themed bedroom.

Eric Hoffman

Chef

Eric joined RED in May of 2021. As Co-Chef, his main focus is the overall operation and development of all back-of-house departments. He takes pride in earning his success through his hard work and eagerness to learn and grow in the culinary field. He also attributes his achievements to becoming a father at a young age which provoked his determination to find stability and provide for his amazing daughter. Throughout his 15 years in the industry, he has worked as a Chef at multiple restaurants in Green Bay including St Brendan’s Inn, Republic Chophouse, and Titletown Brewing Co., and locally his most recent experience cooking in a large-scale corporate kitchen at Epic. When Eric is not cooking, he enjoys eating his way through his travels, live music, and disc golfing.

Nick Ussery

Chef

A California native, Nick relocated to Wisconsin in 2018. After taking on new scenery, acclimating to Wisconsin winters, and working in Epic’s large-scale kitchen; Nick found his home at RED in June of 2021. As Co-Chef, his focus is leadership and menu development. Nick’s experience stems from various kitchens across the Napa Valley working for many prestigious chefs including Michael Chiarello at Bottega, Richard Reddington at REDD, and Sean O’Toole at Torc. He has gained considerable knowledge throughout his tenure, but notes his most memorable moment in the kitchen was meeting his now fiance at REDD’s sister restaurant, Reddwood. Nick is the outdoorsy type and enjoys hiking, kayaking, and golfing. A fun fact about Nick – he was born on Friday the 13th, but that is unrelated to his knife mastery in the kitchen.

Justin Bondurant - Bar Manager

Justin Bondurant

Bar Manager

Although raised just outside of Madison, Justin has made it his goal to travel whenever possible to expand his palate and stories. He has held various positions in the restaurant industry for over 14 years, beginning as a barback for a local cocktail bar during his stint in college. Justin excelled as a creative in the field. His curiosity, passion, and genuine personality drove his inventiveness in many artistic outlets such as drawing, painting, and music. Gathering inspiration from new destinations, Justin has applied many unique flavor profiles to our part of the world of craft cocktails and spirits. When RED expanded to its new location, Justin was asked to join the bar team. His experience curating exciting beverages and menus has elevated RED’s spirits program to new heights.

Rob Johnson - Beverage Director

Rob Johnson

Beverage Director

Rob may have grown up all around the United States, but he found a home in Madison 8 years ago. It was here in which he began his career in the Beverage Industry. Self-taught, full of ideas and flair, Rob joined the team at RED after seeing the passion in Owner/Chef/Friend Jack Yip. It was this spirit for excellence that sparked an equally beautiful bar program. When Rob isn’t at RED making delicious cocktails, you will likely find him working on his PC and taking short to medium-length walks with his dog, Bella.

Salvador Luna

Sushi Sous Chef

Salvador Luna has been a key player in creating the elegant rolls and plating at RED beginning in 2012. Prior to working with RED, Sal worked with sushi and hibachi to obtain and expand his creative artistry. With an expert palate, skilled knife work, and dedication, Sal continues to raise the bar at RED with his joy, design, and intricate details. A family of coworkers and guest excitement over the beauty of the food are what motivates Sal in his position. In his world outside of RED, Salvador is a caring father of two and a player of many instruments including vocals and guitar for his ska band – Los Meskales.

Francisco Lopez Xelhua

Sushi Sous Chef

Francisco is one of RED’s most tenured employees. Starting as a dishwasher at our former location on King Street in 2013, Francisco worked his way up and is now an integral part of our sushi team. He attributes his growth to Salvador Luna who encouraged him to learn the art of sushi. Francisco’s favorite part of the job is breaking down whole bluefin tuna – it’s a remarkable experience to see him in action! If you’ve ever dined at RED, you’ve probably seen a chef’s choice dinner beautifully presented by him. When Francisco is not rolling sushi, he loves to stay current on all sushi trends and enjoys watching other sushi chefs master the art on YouTube and Instagram. Francisco’s talent also shines in his music – he plays the bass for a local band.

Ari Tessitore

Sous Chef

Ari is a Mechanical Engineer turned Chef. Once building robots and other specialized machinery; Ari followed his heart and passion for food and it led him to the RED kitchen in June of 2020. His dynamic role as Sous Chef allows him to foster his skills in both sushi and modern fare. As a New York native, Ari grew up surrounded by iconic restaurants and every cuisine imaginable. As he continued to cultivate his passion, he found a love for sustainable farming making Wisconsin a great place to call home. When he’s not in the kitchen, Ari loves maintaining his at-home garden trying different things every season – he is currently growing six types of peppers!