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Chef Roy Yamaguchi was a guest lecturer at the School of Travel Industry Management in 2021

Chef Roy Yamaguchi will be the next executive director of the (CIP) at . His appointment was approved by the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents at their November 16 meeting. Yamaguchi’s start date is January 2, 2024.

Yamaguchi earned an associate in occupational studies degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), served on the CIA board for more than 12 years and is currently a trustee emeritus. He has worked in the culinary and restaurant industry for more than 45 years and has successfully managed more than 40 restaurants worldwide as a founder, chef and owner. He is also one of 12 Hawaiʻi chefs who founded Hawaiʻi Regional Cuisine in 1991, and in 1993, became he became the first person from Hawaiʻi to receive the James Beard Best Chef Award.

person tending to crops
(Photo courtesy: Roy Yamaguchi)

“Roy has strong family and business foundations in Hawaiʻi and the greater Asia Pacific and understands the unique economic, political, business and cultural environment of our region,” Kapiʻolani CC Chancellor Misaki Takabayashi said. “Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a deep commitment to education by founding and sponsoring scholarship programs and fundraising campaigns that have supported countless students at high schools and colleges here and abroad.”

Yamaguchi’s selection to serve as the executive director was based on recommendations from the campus-wide search advisory committee, the executive leadership team and feedback from the public forums with all candidates. The executive director leads the CIP program, including overseeing the credit and non-credit programs, culinary research, food innovation, internships and apprenticeships. The executive director will also develop and implement the new CIP restaurant at Diamond Head—the crown jewel of the program—and oversee its operation.

“The development of the CIP at Diamond Head promises to take us to the next era of our culinary education, and is possible because of the inspiration, dedication and financial support of many,” said Takabayashi. The restaurant, now under construction, is tentatively scheduled to open in late 2024.

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