Known as a pioneer of Haute Chinese Cuisine, Yuji Wakiya is the author of best-selling cookbooks and a celebrity TV chef in Japan. Born in Hokkaido, Japan in 1958, he began his brilliant career in Tokyo at the age of 15. Trained under native Chinese chefs in authentic Chinese style, he became executive chef of a well-known restaurant in 1985. He began expressing his creative talent in elaborate dishes served in an elegant course style, and interest in his Haute Chinese Cuisine blossomed. In 1996, he became the executive chef at Turandot in Yokohama and Akasaka, and the executive chef of Chinese Kitchen of Pan Pacific Yokohama Bay Hotel Tokyu in 1997. In 2001, he also opened his own restaurant—Wakiya, in Akasaka, which has been named one of most popular Chinese restaurants in Japan. He fulfilled his vision to open a restaurant in New York in 2007, with the launch of Wakiya at the Gramercy Park Hotel.