(41 Total References)
Kevin Takei | Crave Culinaire
Born to "foodies," Kevin Takei's
Japanese father and Irish mother introduced their son early to the joys of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and unusual cheeses.
"Everything I ate was fresh and cooked by my parents.
I earned my first Boy Scout badge cooking Boeuf a la Bourguignon straight from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child".?
is the heart and soul of the Crave kitchen.
technique and vast knowledge of classical and modern preparations help Crave
maintain balance of avante garde with food that makes sense.
On a typical day you might see Chef Kevin monitoring several stocks, butchering the daily proteins, whisking the perfect meringue or sabayon, and receiving the fresh daily ingredients.
From there he
also writes many of Crave's menus, executes order lists, prep lists, and maintains daily organization.
Takei was a natural for the Culinary Institute of America where he graduated with high honors, first in his class in 1989 and then was awarded the Culinary Fellowship at the CIA's signature American Bounty Restaurant.
This talented young chef moved on to the Four Seasons Newport Beach as Banquet Sous Chef, then worked his way up to Executive Sous Chef enjoying the bounty of southern California.
From there he
moved with the Four Seasons to Dallas at Las Colinas, a AAA 5 Diamond Resort.
As their Chef de Cuisine, he
oversaw Cafe on the Green, the hotel's fine dining restaurant plus the banquet and garde manger operations.
Another Four Seasons transfer took Takei
to the Four Seasons Resort, Maui at Wailea where he
was Chef de Cuisine of the award winning Seasons Restaurant.
While at Maui he
was a recipient of the prestigious AAA 5 Diamond Restaurant Award as well as the DiRona and Hale Aina Awards.
As Chef de Cuisine for Guillas, Chef Takei was able to further refine and enhance his creativity and techniques.
, as usual, it is all about exceeding expectations.
Relocation back east brought Takei closer to his family and he became the Executive Chef for The Putney Inn of Vermont.
At the Putney Inn he
now had the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful bounty of produce that is Vermont.
Using produce often picked the same day, his
goal was to bring the cuisine at the Putney Inn
to new heights of quality, variety and elegance.
While retaining respect for traditional New England cuisine, Kevin
also brought a diverse perspective to the Putney Inn
and its menu, "New England Cuisine with a West Coast Flair."
A desire to return to a more familiar professional environment led Takei
to the Old Tavern at Grafton as their Executive Chef.
One of only two AAA Four Diamond properties in the state of Vermont, The Old Tavern at Grafton is one of the oldest operating inns in America, having opened its doors in 1801.
Located in historic Grafton, Vermont, the Inn
is dedicated to preserving the vitality of Vermont's rural communities and is a member of Historic Hotels of America
, Small Luxury Hotels
of the World, the Vermont Fresh Network and Green Hotels of Vermont.
Moving to a warmer climate brought Chef Takei to Florida where he became Banquet Chef of the Naples Grande Beach Resort and Spa.
A volunteer works with Kevin ...
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
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.
succumbed to alcoholism, lost his
job and family.
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.
stint at the Naples Grande
checked himself into St. Matthew's
for the first time.
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.
does catering prep for two days and the other days he
cooks for the homeless.
, 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
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.
program ends in two weeks.
is actively looking for a job and plans to continue his
sobriety when he
leaves St. Matthew's House
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.
People | Crave Culinaire
Kevin Takei Chef de Cuisine
Chef de Cuisine
Josh Cook Sous Chef
St. Matthew's House
St. Matthew's House