Quick FactsHometownMaebashi City, Gunma Prefecture, Japan ProfessionExecutive Chef, upcoming David Myers restaurant, Los Angeles, CA Culinary EducationSelf-taughtFavorite Simple Winter RecipeNabemono in any style, a family-style hot pot dish in JapanstatsEliminated in Episode 3Save a Chef Wins: 6Last Chance Kitchen Wins: 1Quickfire Wins: 1Elimination Wins: 1
Kuniko is living the American Dream, and she came to food in a roundabout way. Unhappy working in finance in her native Japan, Kuniko picked up and moved to Los Angeles, getting a job as a server at a noodle house in Los Angeles. Here, she met Chef David Myers of the Michelin starred Sona, who, moved by Kuniko’s passion and zeal, suggested she test her culinary aspirations in his kitchen. Not only did she rise to the challenge -- an un-trained cook in one of the city’s most famed kitchens -- she blossomed. Five years later, she is Myers’ protégé and most recently served as Executive Chef of his popular Los Angeles restaurant, Comme Ça. She will be opening his upcoming Los Angeles restaurant as Executive Chef in December 2012. In 2010, Kuniko was named StarChef.com’s Rising Star.