Executive Chef Todd Yamanaka did not take the traditional route like most of his colleagues. However, even at a young age, his passion for the culinary arts was evident. During family parties, he would assist his mother in the kitchen and manage the barbeque grill. In elementary school, he was given the responsibility to help out in the school cafeteria.
With his inquisitive mind, Chef Todd was always experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes. However, he seized the opportunity for higher education in the field of biotechnology rather than pursuing an education in culinary arts. It was during his college years that Chef Todd’s culinary creativity and penchant for cooking were further realized; his residence quickly became the gathering place for friends to chow down on his latest creation. After spending seven years in the biotech industry, Chef Todd reached a point in his career where he wanted something different.
Chef Todd finally realized that his heart was for cooking and thus began on the culinary path that his friends encouraged him to take several years before. After trying out different roles in various establishments, Chef Todd landed the position of sous chef at California Cafe’s Los Gatos location. This role allowed him to engage with his guests and understand the complete food and dining experience. Now at California Cafe Palo Alto, Chef Todd lives out his lifelong passion and incredibly rewarding reality.