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Former French Laundry chef to lead Vintage Cave

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 10:47 a.m. HST, Jul 16, 2014

Jonathan Mizukami, a former sous chef under Thomas Keller at the award-winning French Laundry restaurant in California, will return to Hawaii to become executive chef at Vintage Cave.

The Maui-born Mizukami will succeed Chris Kajioka, following his previously announced July 31 departure.

Mizukami's resume includes work under globally known chef Ferran Adria during the final year of the El Bulli restaurant in Spain. Adria is considered by many to be the father of the molecular gastronomy style of cuisine.

He also did stages at Per Se in New York City, Alinea in Chicago, The Fat Duck by Heston Blumenthal in England, and Gordon Ramsay's flagship restaurant in London. Stages are short stints of a day to a few weeks, and give the participating culinarian insight into a restaurant, its culinary style, operations and work-culture. Being accepted into a kitchen for such a program is considered an honor.

"We are blessed to bring Jonathan Mizukami back home to Hawaii to share his vast knowledge of fine gastronomy," said Charles Yoshida, general manager, in a statement. "I have had the pleasure of working with him at Alan Wong's when he was just beginning his career, and I am thrilled to see how his style has evolved after working with a number of culinary icons," he said.

Vintage Cave officials soon will announce the restaurant's new sushi kaiseki chef for the soon-to-open sushi salon in the former Investors' Club space.

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Maneki_Neko wrote:
From the headline I thought Thomas Keller was coming to town. That would have been a story worth covering. The sous chef, not so much.
on July 16,2014 | 07:36AM
HIE wrote:
You just basically pronounced your ignorance of the culinary world for all to see. First off, Vintage Cave being the "it" restaurant in Hawaii right now, the hiring of Kajioka's replacement is news no matter who it was going to be. That his replacement is a local boy who was a sous chef at French Laundry is incredibly news-worthy...not to mention working at El Bulli as well. And if you thought from the headline that Thomas Keller was coming to work at someone else's restaurant, well that just pretty much exclaims "I know nothing!"
on July 16,2014 | 08:01AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Perhaps you will tell me where he has excelled as Chef de Cuisine? Go ahead...name the restaurant. Talk about working "stages" is all fine. Talk about being Sous for a true master is fine. But before you get on your high horse, tell me what he has achieved as #1.
on July 16,2014 | 02:05PM
myviewofthings wrote:
go back to your spam musubi cave
on July 16,2014 | 08:34AM
myviewofthings wrote:
Go back to your spam musubi eating cave!
on July 16,2014 | 08:36AM
myviewofthings wrote:
please retreat to your spam cave
on July 16,2014 | 08:38AM
what wrote:
I'll be upstairs from the Vintage Cave, at the Shirokiya food garden, drinking the cheap beer and eating some nice ramen, while the Vintage folks are spending four figures on high-priced food poorn.
on July 16,2014 | 02:12PM
myviewofthings wrote:
on July 16,2014 | 08:39AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Does posting the same thing over and over make you feel better, little one? It says much about you.
on July 16,2014 | 12:57PM
myviewofthings wrote:
damn SA it said it was deleted hahaha
on July 16,2014 | 01:20PM
noheawilli wrote:
Wow! This is excellent news, and what great experiences the new guy has, I know I'm going.
on July 16,2014 | 09:53AM
ellinaskyrt wrote:

YES!!! It's great that the billionaire Japanese owner of Vintage Cave has seen fit to have the extremely skilled Iolani grad, Chef Chris Kajioka, followed by another local boy, this time a Maui High School graduate. /

Side note: Maneki_Neko: How are you enjoying that sous-vide egg on your face that you sploshed on yourself for all to see? I'm enjoying how HIE added some drizzleswag for good measure.... /

on July 16,2014 | 11:47AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
To deify a sous chef simply indicates you have low standards. Clearly it takes very little to satisfy you. Perhaps a nice loco moco is more your style sweetie.
on July 16,2014 | 12:55PM
SongC wrote:
I can't believe how quickly Hawaii is transforming into a legitimate foodie destination. The fact that they're bringing home another local boy, that proved himself among the elite just shows me how far we've come. Not that I don't love me some chicken long rice and squid luau! Its just nice to see that we've got legitimate, alternatives nowadays. No surprise this guy started at Alan Wong's. Another locally-grown, rock solid culinary innovator. Good stuff!
on July 16,2014 | 11:48AM
AFishOutofH20 wrote:
There goes Thomas' reputation!!!!!!!!
on July 16,2014 | 12:38PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Nope, his reputation is proven and solid and unshakeable. As to sous chef, time will tell but let's not wet our jeans prematurely.
on July 16,2014 | 12:59PM
Rapanui00 wrote:
The Vintage Cave is a joke and a place for "wanna be's". The so called art is also a nothing more the junk. Only in Hawaii could a nightmare like this place even exist!
on July 16,2014 | 01:10PM
krusha wrote:
They have some pretty pricey liquor and food there. I remember checking out their drink list and it had a drink that cost 5 grand a shot!
on July 16,2014 | 09:31PM
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