Executive Chef Todd Yamanaka did not take the traditional route like most of his colleagues. However, his passion for the culinary arts did begin at a young age. He was the son who would assist his mother in the kitchen and manage the barbeque during parties. During 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. Yet, he did not pursue an education in culinary arts and rather opted for a higher education in biotechnology. During those college years, Chef Todd’s residence quickly became the gathering place for friends to chow down on his latest creation. Even with encouragement from friends to consider being a chef, Chef Todd graduated and spent seven years in the biotech industry. At this point in his career, he started seeking something different. Finally, one day while gardening, Chef Todd realized that what made him happy was cooking and thus began his culinary path. After trying out several roles in different establishments, Chef Todd landed at California Cafe’s Los Gatos location as the sous chef. 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 is finally seeing his lifelong passion become an incredibly rewarding reality.