Chef Yoshikazu Kizu
Culinary Voyage from Tokyo to Maui
By: Jennifer Coco
In the heart of The Westin Maui Resort & Spa’s bustling kitchen, Executive Chef Yoshikazu Kizu conducts a beautiful symphony of flavors, drawing from his rich culinary experiences that span cultures and continents. Born and raised in Oota-Ku, Tokyo, Japan, alongside two siblings, Kizu’s journey into the culinary world was anything but static.
Kizu’s passion for cooking was kindled through his attendance at Specialization school in Tokyo, where he first dabbled in the arts of bread and confectionary food. His skills and passion flourished, leading him to prestigious stints at the Disney Hotel, Ritz Carlton Tokyo, and Ritz Carlton Okinawa. Yet, it was the allure of new challenges in a new continent that eventually drew him to the shores of the United States. Here, he honed his craft at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando and Kapalua, Hawaii, before finally ascending to the role of Executive Chef at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, a member of the Marriott International Group.
Chef Kizu’s culinary prowess truly comes to life during the resort’s weekly Luaus, where he and his team serve over 300 guests, five days a week. Here, Kewpie Mayo is not just a condiment, but a versatile marinade, bringing its unique flavors to a variety of dishes. It’s a favorite not just among the guests, but also among the staff, as Kizu ensures that the employee food court is stocked with dishes enhanced by Kewpie’s unique flavors. With 30-40 bottles of Kewpie products always in stock, it’s clear that this Japanese condiment plays a crucial role in the success of their menu. The Vegan Mayo, in particular, adds a delightful touch to sandwiches, ensuring that every bite is packed with flavor.
Looking ahead, Chef Yoshikazu Kizu is excited about the potential of incorporating even more Kewpie flavors into his dishes, continuing to push the boundaries of culinary excellence. His journey from Tokyo to Maui is a testament to the power of passion, dedication, and the magic that happens when the right ingredients come together in the kitchen.