Chef Roy Yamaguchi, a culinary standout for 40 years who will mark his 35th anniversary of his flagship Roy’s Restaurant in Hawaii Kai on Dec. 6, is the next executive director of the Culinary Institute of the Pacific (CIP) at Kapiolani Community College.

His appointment was approved by the University of Hawaii Board of Regents at their Nov. 16 meeting and Yamaguchi’s start date is Jan. 2, 2024.

“Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a deep commitment to education by founding and sponsoring scholarship programs and fundraising campaigns that have supported countless students at high schools and colleges here and abroad,” said Kapiolani CC Chancellor Misaki Takabayashi.

While Yamaguchi has been a standout in the restaurant industry globally for more than four decades, he has managed more than 40 restaurants around the world, as chef, founder, and owner.

Yamaguchi, pictured above, was one of the 12 founding members of the innovative Hawaii Regional Cuisine organization, which changed the taste and face of island dining. Established in 1991, the concept advocated a network of farmers and ranchers to become resources so Hawaii foodies could enjoy farm-to-table ingredients, flavored and favored by the domestic chefs who created a fusion of fresh ingredients on all the islands to yield cuisine reflecting ethnic elements, embracing Hawaii’s multi-cultural palate as well as multi-nationality population.,

The plan was wildly successful on all fronts, enabling Hawaii to become a pioneering culinary destination, the impact of which continues today.

It was win-win for the cooks as well as providers of the resources of farm and stables, making the concept a resounding success.

Besides Yamaguchi, the founding chefs of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine were Sam Choy, Roger Dikon, Mark Ellman, Amy Ferguson Ota, Beverly Gannon, Jean-Marie Josselin, George Mavrothalassitis, Peter Merriman, Philippe Padovani, Gary Strehl and Alan Wong.

As the culinary program executive director, Yamaguchi will oversee the credit and non-credit programs, culinary research, food innovation, internships, and apprenticeships. Though the position is salaried, Yamaguchi will donate his entire salary to the University of Hawaii
fFoundation to provide funds to cover scholarships to the culinary students at KCC, the future chefs of Hawaii.

Roy’s 35th anniversary gala, from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 6, is themed “Voyage of Flavors,” to be held at Yamaguchi’s flagship eatery. It will assemble a flock of chefs, each creating dishes for guests. Joining Yamaguchi are Celestine Drago, Dean Fearing, Michal Mia, Raphael Lunetta, Vickram Garg, Jonathan Waxman and Alan Wong.
Tickets are $250 and include three drinks, tax, gratuity, and food prepared at food stations by the all-star staff.

For reservations, visit …

And that’s Show Biz…

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