Chef Ernesto Uchimura of Plan Check Kitchen + Bar - Biography

Los Angeles, CA

June 2014

Ernesto Uchimura of Plan Check Burger – Los Angeles, CA

Just before he turned one, Ernesto Uchimura’s family moved from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Los Angeles, California. Growing up, he came home to Argentinean dinners cooked by his mother and was also exposed to L.A.’s food melting pot. Uchimura always had an artistic bent. He dabbled in painting and drawing and considered enrolling in art school, but ultimately decided that food was a better fit and outlet for his creativity.   

He attended culinary school at Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York while living with his uncle who also got him his first restaurant job at Ponderosa Steakhouse. Uchimura took his education back west to L.A., working at various kitchens until he settled in Westwood, where he cooked at Palomino and later Napa Valley Grille. After gaining formative managerial and cooking experience as the sous chef at Napa Valley Grille, Uchimura became the opening executive chef at the original Umami Burger. He helped build the burger joint into a successful franchise and is now starting to do that for himself with Plan Check Kitchen + Bar where he is partner and executive chef. Since its opening in February 2012, Uchimura and his innovative techniques (such as his ketchup leather) have L.A. abuzz and salivating with excitement.