Michelin star rated Chez TJ's Executive Chef Scott Nishiyama was one of this year's Rising Star Chefs. For the event, he served a Moulard duck foie gras, niege, blackberry, and sunchoke dish with house-mustard bread. BAB's Stephanie Im called this one "simply divine" in her coverage of the event. Another dish that clinched it according to the Star Chefs site was his sablefish with leeks fondue, Manila clams, Perigord truffle and potatoes Sarladaise. Before coming to Chez TJ, Nishiyama also cooked locally at Yoshi's, as well as for at the French Laundry for Thomas Keller, and for Daniel Boulud, and Laurent Tourondel.
Nishiyama is a native of Hawaii who was educated at MIT before becoming a chef. He was recently married to his wife Joy, who he met through an old college classmate from MIT. In keeping with his chef background, the focus was on the food, and the location was at the Carneros Inn, a wine country destination. Nishiyama sounded like he was smiling on the phone when he reported on the nuptials: "We spent most of the time with family and friends. Everyone had a great time, and we were there for a week."
Tied House, next door to Chez TJ. "It's right next door. They have good beer there." If ever you wanted to see cooks from a Michelin star rated restaurant, this might be the spot.
Sumiya: for what he calls "authentic Japanese BBQ" yakitori. "I go for the more adventurous skewers, like beef tongue, and chicken heart. My favorite is chicken cartilage. I love it because of the texture. That little crunch in the mouth…."
Cheeseboard Pizza, "When I used to live in Emeryville, I'd always pick up a cheese pizza there on my day off. They have such great selection, and I'd get some cheese next door, too."