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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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