May 2, 2017

Chef Niki Nakayama: Make it Meaningful

by The Venture

Background show artwork for The Venture
As the owner, head chef, and mastermind behind her restaurant n/naka, Chef Niki Nakayama serves up coveted kaiseki dinners, a structured multi-course meal that emphasizes seasonality and extreme technical prowess. Niki truly straddles the line of tradition and innovation, sourcing local ingredients and employing centuries-old techniques. And she just may be the only woman in the world who does it. But while Niki is the master of her kitchen and craft, getting here was a struggle. In this episode, we tell the story of how she risked it all to launch her restaurant in one of the most cutthroat industries: food. And we learn that a commitment to your creative vision, even if it’s doing it the hard way, can sometimes take you to the top.

The Venture is hosted by Ashley Milne-Tyte

This episode features:
Niki Nakayama, owner and head chef at n/naka restaurant
Carole Iida-Nakayama, sous chef at n/naka restaurant
Besha Rodell, restaurant critic at LA Weekly
Eric Rath, history professor at The University of Kansas

Special thanks to:
Dan Allen, Farmscape
Sarah Rathbone, Dock to Dish LA

To learn more about The Venture, go to

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