Tag Archives: Executive Chef Howard Ko

Balboa Cafe Mill Valley Announces New Exec Chef Howard Ko

Balboa Cafe Mill Valley Announces New Executive Chef Howard Ko
Critically Acclaimed Chef Brings Impressive Culinary Background,
Local and Seasonal Focus to New Role

MILL VALLEY, Calif. – PlumpJack is excited to announce the appointment of Howard Ko to the position of executive chef at the Balboa Cafe Mill Valley, known for classic American bistro cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients.  Ko has worked at some of the most critically acclaimed culinary establishments in the United States, including The Restaurant at Meadowood with Christopher Kostow and The French Laundry with Thomas Keller, as well as Goose & Gander in St. Helena, Melisse in Los Angeles, Hanilkwan in Osaka, and DB Bistro Moderne, Picholine and Daniel in New York.

“It is a privilege to welcome distinguished Chef Ko to the Balboa Cafe Mill Valley,” said Hilary Newsom.  “He brings a wealth of knowledge having worked at award-winning restaurants across the country and around the world, and we’re thrilled to bring his expertise to the restaurant’s culinary program.”

Ko began his career in Los Angeles, mastering the art of pastry making and baking before relocating 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 in St. Helena, where he 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 Cafe Mill Valley, Ko will serve a seasonal menu with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, taking advantage of all that Northern California has to offer.  The menu will consist of market-driven bistro classics with modern twists.

Balboa Cafe Mill Valley is located at 38 Miller Avenue in the historic downtown Mill Valley.  For more information, please visit www.BalboaCafe.com.  For more information about The PlumpJack Group, please visit www.PlumpJack.com.