Tetsu Yahagi was born in a large fishing town of Fukuoka, Japan, on the northern shore of the Island Kyushu, and raised in Osaka until he and his family moved to California for a new job his father landed.
Speaking very little English Tetsu slowly settled into American culture, doing all that he could to familiarize himself the language and local cuisine. As the eldest of four children, Tetsu was responsible for helping his mother in the kitchen.
Upon his return to Japan it was Tetsu’s only desire to attend formal cooking school and shortly thereafter enrolled into the world renowned Japanese/French cookery school, Tsuji, Tokyo, Japan. He finished the program and moved on to their extension program in France, Echole Hoteliere Tsuji Chateau Escoffier, where he graduated with honors and was chosen by the Dean of Studies to travel to Burgundy where he would train under Jacques Lameloise, of the 3 Star Michelin, Restaurant Lameloise. He learned classic French Cuisine and worked as a rounds man, honing his skills on all stations in the kitchen.
Tetsu returned to Japan and began his work at Restaurant Tableaux, assisting in creating a menu of Japanese/French cookery with International influences.
In 2004 Tetsu was selected by Wolfgang Puck as an opening Sous Chef for the former Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill in Tokyo. In preparation for the opening he trained with Lee Hefter, who would later recruit Tetsu to join the team at Spago Beverly Hills as a sous chef. In three years he climbed the ranks and in 2011 was named Chef de Cuisine, Executive chef in 2019. During Spago remodel closure in 2012, Tetsu sharpened his talents in European kitchens, enabling him to stage at Arpège in Paris, Martin Berasategui in San Sebastian and Fat Duck in Great Britain, all of which are rated three stars by Michelin Guide
He uses farmer’s market ingredients and wide variety of seafood both local and overseas to create exciting new menu selections.
Awards & Press
- James Beard Award