Chef Kyle Connaughton of SingleThread - Biography

Healdsburg, CA

September 2017

At age 9, Kyle Connaughton had a sushi dinner that it crystalized the course of his professional life. During high school he apprenticed at one of the oldest Japanese restaurants in Southern California and later attended the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, going on to work at Spago, Ritz-Carlton, AOC, Lucques, and Campanile—moonlighting at the latter two Los Angeles restaurants while teaching at his alma mater.

Furthering his own education, Connaughton enrolled at the California Sushi Academy and later received private instruction from Master Sushi Chef Andy Matsuda at the Sushi Chef Institute. Connaughton worked closely with Matsuda and eventually became chef de cuisine and department chair for the Institute’s fine-dining restaurant.

In 2003, Connaughton landed a position at Michel Bras’ Toya Japan in Hokkaido, where he deepened his knowledge of kaiseki, izakaya, soba, and sushi. In 2006, he opened The Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen for Heston Blumenthal as head chef of research and development, and he worked with Blumenthal on the publication of The Big Fat Duck Cookbook.

Returning to the States in 2012, Connaughton developed curriculum for the Culinary Institute of America. He has also consulted with such organizations as the Umami Information Center and Intellectual Ventures’ Modernist Cuisine. In 2015, Connaughton published Donabe: Classic and Modern Japanese Clay Pot Cooking with Naoko Takei Moore.

In Healdsburg, California, Connaughton and his wife Katina founded Pilot R+D, a food innovation and development company, and in 2016, they debuted SingleThread, a restaurant, inn, and farm built on the ethos of Japanese omotenashi: the spirit of selfless hospitality.