These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeff Osaka was recently named chef of The Empire Lounge & Restaurant.
1. What are you looking forward to the most in your new role?
Being a part of the Louisville community is what I’m most looking forward to. They’ve been so supportive of The Empire over the last 12 years, and I’m hoping to carry on that legacy of hometown hospitality.
2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?
Opening, or reopening a restaurant, is no easy task. So I’m taking the knowledge I’ve gained over the last 11 years here in Colorado as I've opened 10 restaurants with varying concepts.
3. How did you get into the industry?
It's kind of a long story, but I got into this industry by accident (and maybe a little nativity) 28 years ago, randomly asking for a job in a kitchen.
4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?
I’m hoping to bring a fresh new take on an old favorite. The staff (a majority of the staff stayed on board during the transition, including Chef Bobby) is also excited to share this with new and returning guests.
5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?
The best part of this business, besides the people, is that you learn something new each day!