Chef Howard Ko of Balboa Cafe Mill Valley has created an impressive Izakaya menu reminiscent of the traditional Izakayas that are popular in Japan. We are presenting an exciting line-up of Japanese Whiskys, including Yamazaki 18yr, Yamazaki 12yr, Hakushu 18yr, Hakushu 12yr, Hibiki Harmony, Nikka Pure Malt, plus some great sakes, and Japanese beers.
Wednesday, May 18th (5:30-10pm)
Balboa Cafe, Mill Valley
About Howard Ko
A renowned chef with a passion for innovative cuisine, Howard Ko is ideally suited to lead the culinary program at Balboa Cafe Mill Valley. In his career to date, Ko has already worked at some of the industry’s most well-respected establishments – The Restaurant at Meadowood with Christopher Kostow, The French Laundry with Thomas Keller and in the kitchens of Goose & Gander in St. Helena, Melisse in Los Angeles, Hanilkwan in Osaka, and DB Bistro Moderne, Picholine and Daniel in New York.
Ko was raised in Koreatown in Los Angeles and fell in love with cooking at a very young age. After spending time in Los Angeles mastering the art of pastry making and baking, Ko traveled to New York to attend the Culinary Institute of America. As a student at the CIA, Ko assisted at Daniel on weekends to gain experience in the kitchen doing everything from peeling potatoes to cleaning mushrooms.
Making the move to Wine Country as Chef de Partie at The French Laundry in Yountville, Ko worked the line and focused on creating new dishes for the daily changing menu. From there he joined acclaimed chef Christopher Kostow at three-Michelin starred The Restaurant at Meadowood as Chef de Partie where he assisted at all stations and mentored the commis.
Ko accepted a position as chef de cuisine at his third Wine Country restaurant Goose & Gander off Main Street in St. Helena. As his final position before joining Balboa Cafe Mill Valley, Ko ran the kitchen and was responsible for putting a dramatic spin on the neighborhood eatery. Ko also introduced a shared plates concept, new flavors, and new techniques with the goal of bringing people together to taste different flavors.
As Executive Chef at Balboa Café Mill Valley, Ko will serve a seasonal menu with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients taking advantage of all Northern California has to offer. The menu will consist of market driven bistro classics with modern twists. Howard Ko lives in Napa with his fiancée, Wendy, and dog, Whiskey, and when he’s not in the kitchen, enjoys CrossFit and growing his eclectic collection of cookbooks.