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This profile was last updated on 9/28/13  and contains information from public web pages.


Culinary Mercenaries

Employment History


  • Culinary Institute of America
24 Total References
Web References
Sample Recipes - The Old Tavern at Grafton, Vermont, 20 Dec 2005 [cached]
Sample Recipes from Chef Kevin Takei
Kevin Takei - Executive Chef, The Old Tavern at Grafton
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A volunteer works with Kevin ... [cached]
A volunteer works with Kevin Takei, a former chef at a Four Seasons hotel, to create hors d'oeuvres for a catering contract serviced by St. Matthew's House residents under executive chef Brian Elwell. Julie Clay
A volunteer works with Kevin Takei, a former chef at a Four Seasons hotel, to create hors d'oeuvres for a catering contract serviced by St. Matthew's House residents under executive chef Brian Elwell.
A cheese tray created by St. Matthew's House shows the finesse of professional design. Kevin Takei along with a volunteer delicately prepared trays of hor dourves and cheese displays for the Greater Naples Leadership Group. Julie Clay
Kevin Takei along with a volunteer delicately prepared trays of hor dourves and cheese displays for the Greater Naples Leadership Group.
At the height of his career, Kevin Takei cooked in four-star hotels all over the country.
He rose up the ranks at The Four Seasons Hotels, starting as an assistant banquet chef at the Four Seasons in Newport Beach and later moving to the Dallas and Maui locations. He also worked at the famed Hotel Coronado in San Diego as their executive sous chef.
Later in his career, he moved to Vermont, taking the executive chef position at an AAA four-diamond restaurant, The Old Tavern, in Grafton, Vermont. There he succumbed to alcoholism, lost his job and family.
Today, Takei is an admitted alcoholic, living at St. Matthews House in Naples and cooking for their kitchen and catering company.
"This is kitchen is a really special place," said Takei, 47, who originally came to Naples in 2008 to work at the Naples Grande, only to relapse and lose that job, too.
After his stint at the Naples Grande, Takei checked himself into St. Matthew's for the first time. He left and stayed sober for 14 months, but found himself back at the facility in September. Since then he is going through treatment and works four days in the kitchen.
He does catering prep for two days and the other days he cooks for the homeless. Takei, like the other four to five residents in the 90-day kitchen training program, receives a waiver of living fees and a small portion of monies from catering events. Because of his experience, Takei is an important part of catering services, guiding the team of residents who work in the kitchen 24 hours a week.
"The stuffing and the gravy I made for Thanksgiving events was as good as anything I made at the Four Seasons," declared Takei, a soft-spoken man of Japanese Irish descent, "We roasted 110 turkeys and put the carcasses into 18 gallons of gravy to extract flavor.
On a recent Wednesday, Takei along with a volunteer, delicately prepared trays of hors d'ouerves and cheese displays for the Greater Naples Leadership Group.
Takei's program ends in two weeks. He said he is actively looking for a job and plans to continue his sobriety when he leaves St. Matthew's House. He said he has a lot to look forward to in the future.
"I've been in a lot of kitchens and this is the most spiritual place I've ever been," said Takei, who says he formerly called himself an atheist.
San Diego Metropolitan - Food, Booze & Beds - September2000, 23 Nov 2004 [cached]
Kevin Takei fills the position of executive sous chef/restaurant operations.Also a graduate of the CIA, he served as chef de cuisine at the Four Seasons in Maui prior to accepting the position at the Del.
St. Matthew's House, 19 Jan 2012 [cached]
Kevin Takei
Kevin Takei, a full-time ... [cached]
Kevin Takei, a full-time chef at St. Matthew's, said he loves working at the shelter.
"I've done lots of Christmases and these are the best," Takei said. "That includes ones with my kids and ones when I was kid."
The Rev. Michael Orsi is another familiar face at St. Matthew's, having spent the past few years volunteering there when he's not teaching at Ave Maria School of Law.
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