chef ricky sakoda
“If you have a good peach…serve a good peach.”
“This quote has always been a reminder to me that you have to start with good product in order to get good product. Sometimes simple is just the best way to go. If I had to say I have a certain philosophy about food, I guess that would be it. I also love to utilize local seasonal ingredients anytime I can to support other local businesses. We’re creating and sustaining a community to better ourselves and our environment. I think with this philosophy in mind, we can really enhance our customer’s experience here at Café Selmarie.” – Chef Ricky Sakoda
Ricky Sakoda was born in Chicago, but moved to Mundelein, Illinois when he was eight years old. His love of food developed early as he was exposed to an array of different cuisines. That diverse range sparked a culinary fascination that eventually led to working in some of the Midwest’s top tier kitchens. His first venture into the restaurant industry was the popular seafood venue Bob Chinn’s Crab House in Wheeling, Illinois. At 19 years old he stood in the kitchen of one of the busiest restaurants in the entire country. “From that moment, I was hooked,” he says.
Chef Ricky went on to receive his degree from the University of Illinois in Food Industry and Business in 2006, which parlayed into a culinary degree from Kendall College in 2008. He then refined his culinary skills working for his mentors, award-winning Chefs Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris, at Prairie Grass Café in Northbrook. His experience in their kitchen led to an eventual Chef de Cuisine position at the James Beard nominated restaurant Merriman’s Kapalua- in Maui, Hawaii. For three years he ran one of the most decorated and celebrated kitchens in all the Hawaiian Islands. Utilizing local farmers, fisherman, and artisan craftsmen was paramount to his success. Ricky hopes to translate that creativity and enthusiasm as the new Executive Chef of Café Selmarie.