Chef / Owner, Yoshiko Sakuma

Chef Yoshiko Sakuma, born in Japan, raised in the kitchen and raised in a culinary family. As the daughter of restaurant owners and the grandchild of farmers of Fukushima, she was raised to learn, value and appreciate quality ingredients before pursuing her culinary path leading to her very own restaurant named Rabbit House in New York City.

After continuing her education in New York City, Chef Yoshiko continued to pursue her passion towards fine dining and worked for various restaurants as well as bakeries. As she worked under many notable chefs and establishments, Yoshiko became more inspired, stemming away to begin a new chapter, the one, and only Rabbit house. Receiving the great opportunity to work for Chef David Bouley at both Bouley Restaurant and Bouley Bakery.

She then moved to his Michelin-starred restaurant Danube to focus on her cooking skills. After Danube, she decided to focus again on pastry, moving to Charlie Palmer’s progressive American restaurant, Aureole. After Aureole, Yoshiko moved to a new post at Mario Batali’s Del Posto to work under Pastry Chef Brooks Headley. She went on to Centro Vinoteca work under Leah Cohen and Maialino before landing her post as Sous Chef at New York’s Sora Lella.

Under the inspiration of Chef Maur Trabala, Chef Yoshiko Sakuma took her culinary skills to the next level, in 2010 she headed to Spain and Italy to work at a string of world-renowned restaurants including Sauc, Locanda La Candola, Arzak, and Osteria Francescana under Chef Massimo Bottura. During this time, she learned the fine detail of preparation that has made these restaurants shine among the best in the world. During this time, Yoshiko also began developing the love for the great wine in Spain and Italy. Yoshiko saw a complexity and beauty of wine that paralleled her feelings for sake.

As a trained sake sommelier, she dreamed of new ways to pair wine and began to formulate the concepts she would later develop. Back to New York, Yoshiko took her skills to Jewel Bako as the Kitchen chef to support Executive Sushi Chef Yoshi Kousaka masterpieces. She then moved to Chef John Fraser’s Narcissa to experience the farm-to-table movement, something that resonated well with her childhood memories.

Yoshiko then became Sous Chef under Mario Hernandez at his new Latin/Mediterranean restaurant Gardenia. It was during this time that Yoshiko realized she was ready to put her own mark on the industry.

Today, Yoshiko Sakuma is Chef / Owner at Rabbit House, bringing her passion for fine dining to the local scale. Nestled aside a park on the Chinatown / Lower East Side border, she creates European influenced Japanese style tapas along with Sake and Wine pairings, bringing a new and innovative experience of quality food to her customers.
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