Born in Los Angeles, where the food is as diverse as the populace, Jeff Osaka has always been fascinated by the restaurant industry. Although he didn’t step behind his first professional stove until the age of 28, Jeff has worked with some of the best chefs in the nation in the past two decades, garnering praise by critics and peers alike.
In the spring of 1992, Jeff took on his first full-time chef position at Tarpy’s Roadhouse in Monterey, California. Two years later, Jeff’s professional adventure continued in San Francisco, where he worked with Chef Bradley Ogden at One Market. In this ambitious kitchen, Jeff was ingrained with Ogden’s “market to table” training — the concept of combining simple techniques with the freshest ingredients. After only a year at One Market, Jeff was promoted to the position of Sous Chef, a noteworthy achievement for someone so new to the trade.
With a desire to expand his culinary palate, Jeff next ventured into the world of French cuisine. In 1997, he worked as Sous Chef for Chef Gerald Hirigoyen at Pastis, and then returned to Los Angeles to work with Chefs Joachim Splichal and Octavio Beccera as Sous Chef at Pinot Bistro in Studio City.
Jeff’s confidence and commitment were soon noticed by restaurant genius Wolfgang Puck. In early 1998, Jeff became Sous Chef at Puck’s Chinois Las Vegas, broadening his cooking repertoire to deftly implement Puck’s concept of marrying Asian food with French influences. While at Chinois, Jeff cultivated a friendship with Wine Director Ken Fredrickson M.S., and within a year, the two focused their talents and energy on Jackson Hole, first opening Restaurant Terroir in late 1998 and then the Asian-influenced Koshu in 2000.
In the Spring of 2001, Jeff moved back to Los Angeles to work with friends at the Venice-based restaurants 5 Dudley and Joe’s. Soon after, Jeff partnered in his own venture, as Chef/Owner of the critically acclaimed Playa del Rey bistro, Chloe.
Jeff has also enjoyed working as a Private Chef/Consultant, cooking and catering for some of the most notable names in Hollywood while practicing a wide variety of cuisines in many renowned California kitchens, including Fringale (San Francisco), Melisse (Santa Monica), Piccolo (Venice), and Wilson and Beacon (Culver City.)
In Novermber 2008 Jeff was thrilled to bring his experience and passion back into his own kitchen in Denver with the opening of twelve.