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Roy Yamaguchi is an American celebrity chef, restaurateur, cookbook author and television personality. He is the owner and founder of 31 Roy’s Restaurants, including 29 in the United States, one in Guam and one in Tokyo, Japan. Yamaguchi is also a partner with OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC - a multibillion dollar company, which owns, operates and has venture agreements with eight brands, including Roy’s Restaurants. He is revered as the innovator of Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine, an eclectic blend of California-French-Japanese cooking traditions inspired with fresh flavors of the Islands. He was honored, as the first from Hawaii, with the prestigious James Beard "Best Pacific Northwest Chef" Award in 1993. Most recently, Yamaguchi co-founded the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, bringing together celebrity chefs and talents from around the world for the State' most premiere epicurean lifestyle event.
Yamaguchi received his formal training and culinary arts education from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York. Upon graduation, he worked at some of California's most notable establishments, Michael's in Santa Monica, Escoffier Room, L'Ermitage and also apprenticed under master chefs, Jean Bertranou and Michel Blanchet . In 1984, he became the visionary, founder and chef of the popular 385 North in Los Angeles, serving a unique fusion cuisine blending of California-French-Japanese cooking traditions.
In 1988, Yamaguchi opened the first Roy's Restaurant in Hawaii Kai which was dubbed by Food & Wine Magazine as the "crown jewel of Honolulu's East-West eateries," and it was named one of Condé Nast Traveler's "Top 50." Gourmet acknowledged Yamaguchi as "the father of modern East-West cooking" while the New York Times described him as "the Wolfgang Puck of the Pacific."
Yamaguchi is regarded as a pioneer who mastered a distinctive style, which brought his cooking to the forefront of contemporary gastronomy. He has been invited by ministries of tourism and gourmet food festivals to showcase his cooking style in 15 countries including Singapore, Korea, Abu Dabi, Switzerland, Thailand, France and Israel. He has also cooked for nine world leaders, including Presidents William Clinton and Barack Obama.