Chef Scott Nishiyama of Chez TJ - Biography

Mountain View, CA

September 2010

Scott Nishiyama grew up on the island of Maui, the son of a second generation flower grower. As a young boy, he was exposed to the fresh produce that his family grew on their farm. Though cooking and food had always been a passion, he was drawn to a career in chemistry, which he studied at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

But an undeniable urge to be in the kitchen remained. Nishiyama took a cooking position at the Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles. With the guidance of the chef, he enrolled in The Culinary Institute of America.

After graduation, Nishiyama worked at Cello and Town in New York City, but when an opportunity to work for Daniel Boulud at Daniel arose in 2003, he jumped at it. After two years under Boulud’s tutelage, Nishiyama was tapped to open Daniel Boulud Brasserie at the Wynn Las Vegas.

When Chef de Cuisine Corey Lee of The French Laundry called Nishiyama in need of a chef, he couldn’t pass up the offer. Nishiyama decided to take a small step back and leave the bright lights of the Vegas strip for the picturesque Napa Valley. In 2008, he moved to San Francisco to work under Executive Chef Shotaro Kamio as chef de cuisine at the newly completed Yoshi’s. Today, as the executive chef of Chez TJ in Mountain View, Nishiyma draws upon his varied experiences to create exciting, refined dishes.