A leader in Los Angeles’ new wave of fusion cuisine, Chef Brandon Kida brings a distinct vision to Hinoki & the Bird that melds together inspirations from his Japanese heritage with refined French culinary technique. The result is a menu that tells the story of his global journeys: bold layered flavors, graceful execution, flawless presentation and a taste of California’s seasonal produce.
With his propensity toward innovation and quality ingredients, Kida works hand-in-hand with local farmers, fisheries, foragers and producers, from understanding the farmers’ vision to collaborating with pottery makers on custom dishware and plates.
Raised by Japanese-American parents who loved to cook, and with yearly trips to Japan and an upbringing in the cultural melting pot of Los Angeles’ Koreatown, Kida opened his eyes and mouth to a complexity of flavors at a young age and quickly developed a passion for working in the kitchen.
Following graduation from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY in 2001, Kida set out to sharpen his culinary technique by working in premier French fine dining restaurants, including L’Orangerie in Los Angeles and Lutèce in New York City. He then joined the opening team at Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental, New York where he climbed the ranks to eventually land his first executive chef position.
Kida’s next professional venture landed him in upstate New York with the Scandinavian Smörgås Chef Restaurant Group’s Blenheim Hill Farm where he split his time between tending to the eco-farm and running the restaurant’s kitchen as executive chef. It was here that he gained the knowledge and appreciation for true farm-to-table, seasonal-ingredient-driven cuisine, which inspired his culinary vision for his next role as opening executive chef at Clement at The Peninsula New York. Under his leadership, Clement was awarded four stars by Forbes Travel Guide in 2015.
After 15 years of honing his craft, Kida returned to his hometown of Los Angeles to join Hinoki & the Bird as executive chef where his imaginative, ingredient-centric focus has propelled the restaurant’s globally inspired, of-the-moment California fare to new heights.
Kida’s culinary philosophy, guided by time and place, has earned him an award-winning reputation and industry-wide recognition including the StarChefs “Rising Star” Award in 2010 and invitations to participate in prestigious culinary events such as Los Angeles Food & Wine and Autism Speaks.
Please share an off-menu family recipe (or description) or a personal intergenerational food story
One of my earliest food memories was making gyoza together with my mom on the kitchen table. still to this day I fold the same way she taught me.