MEET YU MIN LIN, EXECUTIVE CHEF THE SEA BY ALEXANDER’S STEAKHOUSE – PALO ALTO
SVT: Where did you grow up, where did you go to school and what did you study?
YML: I grew up and went to school in Taipei, Taiwan. I also went to Japan for training with Japanese sushi chefs.
SVT: Who or what inspired you to become a chef? What made you decide to become a chef and when?
YML: Japanese chefs: 太田 嘉章 and 朝妻 吉郎 – I was impressed with their high work ethics and their ability to transform food into a piece of artwork on plate. Chef Michael Cimarusti also inspired me after I came to the U.S., with his use of French techniques and wild ingredients from land + sea.
SVT: How long have you been the Executive Chef at The Sea By Alexander’s Steakhouse?
YML: I’ve been at The Sea since its opening in October / November, 2012.
SVT: What do you love most about what you do?
YML: I love to come up with innovative recipes to bring out the natural flavors of the best ingredients, from land and sea, in season. And, of course, I love to eat!
SVT: What advice would you give to someone thinking about a career as a Chef?
YML: Once you make the decision, do your best and never give up. It’s a lot of hard work, but you have to love what you do. Remember the excitement of your first day in the kitchen and keep it fresh in your mind.
SVT: What is your favorite meal to prepare or offer?
YML: A meal prepared with the freshest ingredients in season is always the best.
SVT: Do you have in particular favorite items you love? Do your customers have in particular favorite items they love?
YML: Seafood and wild vegetables.
SVT: Do you like to eat out at other restaurants and see what’s cooking with them?
YML: Yes, of course! I love to go and eat at other restaurants. I try to go at least once a week.
SVT: How often do you change your menu?
YML: I usually change the menu by season.
About Yu Min Lin
Yu Min Lin’s approach to cooking is inspired from his extensive training and experience in both Japanese and French cuisine for over 20 years abroad and here in California. He aims to source wild, sustainable, and seasonal ingredients from land and sea. The goal is to bring out the natural flavors of freshness and present the dishes in a simple and pure form.
Since he was 14 years old, Yu Min began his culinary career as an apprentice and worked his way up to Executive Sushi Chef at Shintori Cuisine Japonaise in Taipei and Shanghai. During his 10 years at Shintori, Yu Min was also trained extensively under traditional Japanese chefs in Tokyo and Yokohama, honing his knife skills and knowledge to bring out the best of the highest quality fresh seafood.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2001, Yu Min took a position as line cook at Water Grill where he worked with celebrated chef Michael Cimarusti. Chef Cimarusti’s classical French cooking techniques have a great influence on Yu Min which are reflected in his cuisine.
Yu Min then accepted Chef Cimarusti’s invitation as opening Sous Chef at Providence in 2005, and was promoted to Chef de Cuisine after two years. During his tenure at Providence, the restaurant was named “One of America’s Top 50 Restaurants” by Gourmet Magazine, “Best Seafood Restaurant 2006” by LA Magazine, and awarded two stars by the Michelin Guide.
To further develop his culinary skills and techniques, Yu Min performed stages at The French Laundry in Yountville and Manresa in Los Gatos. While on a family trip to the San Francisco Bay Area, Yu Min was recruited by Alexander’s Steakhouse to be it’s opening Executive Chef at The Sea in Palo Alto.
With his passion and impeccable culinary background, Yu Min aims to redefine the seafood culinary experiences in the Bay Area. In his free time, Yu Min enjoys fishing, swimming, and tending his own organic vegetable garden at home with his wife, Diana and young daughter, Nerissa.