He is revered as the innovator of Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine. In 1993, Roy was honored, as the first from Hawai‘i with the James Beard “Best Pacific Northwest Chef” Award. Most recently, Yamaguchi co-founded the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival, bringing together celebrity chefs and talents from around the world for the State’s 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 from Michael’s in Santa Monica to the Escoffier Room 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.
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.”
Special: Winner of James Beard Awards, TV Program Cooking Show Host