Top Chef Masters - Meet The Chefs
Chef Roy Yamaguchi
From Bravo Bio - Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Roy Yamaguchi moved to the U.S. to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. After graduating, his devotion to French cooking was nurtured further in southern California, where he signed on for an apprenticeship at L'Escoffier, followed by one at L'Ermitage under the late master chef Jean Bertanou. He worked his way up to chef status with stints at Le Serene and Le Gourmet. In 1984, Chef Yamaguchi finally opened his first restaurant as an owner, 385 North on Hollywood's La Cienega. This is where the Yamaguchi cooking style, described by Bon Appetit as "California-French-Japanese-eclectic," first came into bloom. After dissolving his L.A. partnership in early 1988, he uprooted his young family in order to renew his acquaintance with Hawaii, settling into the eastern side of Honolulu known as Hawaii Kai. The opening of Yamaguchi's restaurant, Roy’s, did not go unnoticed. Within months Food & Wine dubbed it "the crown jewel of Honolulu's East-West eateries." It was virtually the only one of its type in the early years. Today there are 37 Roy’s worldwide. He boasts the honor of being the first Hawaiian restaurateur to win the prestigious James Beard Award. Yamaguchi has appeared on Iron Chef, is the author of four cookbooks, and hosted the cooking show Hawaii Cooks.
Competing for: Imua Family Services
From Bravo Bio - Michael Chiarello is the acclaimed Napa Valley chef/owner of Bottega Restaurant, as well as award-winning author, Emmy-winning host of "Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello," and tastemaker behind NapaStyle, a specialty brand of foods and handcrafted products. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chiarello’s knowledge of cooking began at an early age in the home of his Italian family. He was honored as “Chef of the Year” by Food and Wine Magazine at age 23, and again while at his iconic Napa Valley restaurant, Tra Vigne, in the mid-80’s. He is the host of numerous shows on PBS, Fine Living and Food Network. He is also the proprietor of Chiarello Family Vineyards, making small production, highly rated red wines from his vineyards in the Napa Valley. He has cooked and entertained thousands, including former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and the sous-chef to the Dalai Lama. Chiarello incorporates his personal passion for living seasonally and sustainably into his businesses—from the purveyors he supports as a chef/restaurateur, to the products he designs for NapaStyle, to the earth-friendly farming he employs at Chiarello Family Vineyards.
Competing for: The Clinic Ole Foundation
From Bravo Bio - In college, Mark landed a job peeling vegetables for Wolfgang Puck at Ma Maison. He eventually worked his way up to poissonier before moving to France for stints at La Tour d’Argent and Le Moulin de Mougins. In 1979, he returned to Los Angeles and began working at Michael’s Restaurant. From there he moved north to Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse and, finally, back to Los Angeles to open the original Spago as Wolfgang Puck’s chef de cuisine. In 1989, he opened both La Brea Bakery and Campanile with business partners Nancy Silverton and Manfred Krankl. He has co-authored several books, including Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton At Home: Two Chefs Cook for Family and Friends and The Food of Campanile, both with former wife and ex-partner Nancy Silverton. New Family Classic Dinners, his new cookbook, is due to be released October 2009. His newest project, Glass and Mirrors, a classic bar and restaurant featuring hand-crafted cocktails, is due to open in Hollywood in late 2009. Mark has five children and is married to television host and comedienne Daphne Brogdon.
Competing for: Doctors Without Borders