2021 Denver Food + Wine Festival

Explore The CHEFS, BAKERS + beverage pros

Craig Koketsu

Craig Koketsu has fostered his passion for precision, knowledge, and flavor by working with acclaimed chefs from diverse backgrounds. He began his culinary career at Stars in Palo Alto, California, working with renowned chefs Jeremiah Tower and Joyce Goldstein; Craig received the distinction of being named banquet chef for all private events at Stars, which allowed him to create intricate and innovative dishes.

Later, Craig realized that a move to New York City was crucial to work with the chefs he admired. Once in New York, he landed the position of chef de partie with Gray Kunz at the famed restaurant Lespinasse, where was afforded the opportunity to work with another remarkable talent, Christian Delouvrier, who replaced Kunz after his departure. Craig stayed on Delouvrier’s new team and became poissonnier, which was the post he held when Lespinasse earned a four-star review from the New York Times. Craig was then honored with the highest position in Delouvrier’s kitchen: chef de cuisine.

Craig was selected to create the culinary concept and menus for Quality Meats, which he executed with a great respect for classic dishes which were transformed by his creativity. Since, he has since created the culinary direction of Quality Branded’s award-winning Park Avenue Summer (Autumn, Winter, Spring), Quality Italian, Quality Eats, Zou Zou’s, and Bad Roman in New York City, as well as Denver’s Kini’s and Cretans. New York Magazine and Esquire have named Craig among New York City’s top up-and-coming chefs.