Chef Tojo on local food, quinoa, and next year’s Foundation Gala!

Chef Hidekazu Tojo is restaurateur of none other than Tojo’s here in Vancouver. He left his home of Kagoshima, Japan in 1971 at the young age of 21, bound for Vancouver – and hasn’t left since.

As a great supporter of Nikkei Place Foundation, Tojo recently hosted a special dinner for local philanthropist and CEO of Viva Pharmaceutical Jason Ko and his wife Emily, with guests such as UBC President Santa Ono, Consul General Asako Okai, Director General of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Vancouver Tom Chih-chiang Lee and Mrs. Lee, and Nikkei Place Foundation Board Director Dennis Shikaze, among others.

This dinner was an exclusive live auction item that Tojo generously gifted to Nikkei Place Foundation for our annual spring fundraising gala this year. It featured a seasonal menu that highlights the best local summer ingredients, including the “Canada 150 Celebration Roll” – a Tojo original that included Northern Canadian quinoa and eulachon candlefish.

We sat down with Tojo to hear more about local food. One of the reasons he has never left Vancouver is because of the abundance and variety of local produce and seafood available. He remarked that, for this reason, he continues to remain challenged as a chef, continuing to incorporate new ingredients into his dishes – most recently by utilizing quinoa as a rice substitute in sushi. For newcomers and visitors to Vancouver, Tojo recommends “Go to farmer’s markets, eat local food – and I guarantee you will enjoy [your visit] ten times more!”

Next year, Tojo is excited to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his restraurant! One of the ways he will be celebrating this milestone is by giving back. Nikkei Place Foundation is excited to announce that Tojo’s restaurant will be the venue for our Spring fundraising dinner in March 2018! More details will be announced soon. If you are interested in sponsorship or donating an auction item to our event, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or 604.777.2122.

[Photos courtesy of Yvonne Kong]


Tojo’s Restaurant
1133 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC



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