Yui Design

GQ (Sept. 9, 2013) On Paul Liebrandt's The Elm: "The open kitchen where Liebrandt demonstrates his artistry in ways he hasn't before. He is one of our finest American chefs as well as a New York treasure, all talent and temperament."

Philadelphia CityPaper (Aug. 18, 2013) "The food coming out of Serpico's kitchen, a glimmering steel peninsula surrounded by 18 counter seats, is everything we've waited for."

New York Times (Aug. 12, 2013) "Today Ashok Bajaj is arguably the most successful restaurateur in Washington...Rasika West End...underscored his 'strong passion to educate the American public' about Indian cuisine."

Washington Post (July 2, 2013) Le Diplomate Delights. Stephen Starr, the king of the Philadelphia restaurant scene (and a prince of New York’s), spent $6.5 million to turn a vacant dry cleaner in Logan Circle into one of the most convincing French bistros the city has ever seen."

Washingtonian (June 27, 2013) On Le Diplomate: Stephen Starr owns 30 restaurants, most of them in Philadelphia, including Morimoto (with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto) and Buddakan. He has recently expanded to New York, Miami, and now Washington...The secret of Starr’s success [is] that he can make you feel a giddy sense of privilege to be sitting on his stunning sound stage, munching on bread."

Eater (June 21, 2013) "Serpico is Philly's most beautiful restaurant."

The Food Doc (June 19, 2013) "Serpico's well-equipped open kitchen beckons from the back of the room; a wrap-around counter ensures some fortunate patrons the opportunity to watch the chefs in action."

Food Arts (Jan./Feb. 2013) YuiDesign is "responsible for so many notable projects it would have taken an encyclopedia to name them all." 

Food Arts (Dec. 2010) "Emblematic of the charge surging through the hospitality industry this year is Lincoln..at New York City's Lincoln Center...Equal to the setting is the Italiante menu composed by Jonathan Benno in the 1,000-square-foot open kitchen by YuiDesign." 

New York Times (Oct. 20, 2010) On Eataly: "A retail love letter to Italy, with food stalls galore and five restaurants."

Wall Street Journal (Sept. 18, 2010) "Inside the fall's most anticipated restaurant opening, the open kitchen was humming, the attentive wait staff was buzzing and diners were at last feasting on the culinary creations of Jonathan Benno's first restaurant.

Eater (Sept. 21, 2010) Chef Jonathan Benno's "Lincoln, the undisputed biggest-slash-most ambitious opening this fall...Inside, the massive 60 by 17 foot open kitchen takes up about 50 percent of the usable restaurant space. It's immaculate..."

New York Post (Aug. 25, 2010) Eataly...a multimillion-dollar project dreamed up by Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti. "It will become the one must-stop food destination in New York.” The 50,000-square-foot space features multiple restaurants, including a fine-dining Italian steakhouse called Manzo, a Neapolitan pizzeria and a year-round rooftop beer garden and microbrewery, not to mention a cooking school and retail sections for everything from Italian housewares to prosciutto di Parma.

The Huffington Post (Sept. 20, 2010) The newest player on the gourmet foods scene, Eataly, is a concept led by Chefs Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich and Eataly Founder Oscar Farinetti. It is over 50,000 square feet of fresh produe, cheeses, meat, fish, multiple restaurants and thousands of imported products.

New York Times (Sept. 2, 2009) "For a Perfectionist Chef, a New Spot and a New Challenge," on Chef Missy Robbins, new executive chef of the two NYC A Voce restaurants, including the new location opening this month in the Time Warner Center: "I pick my kitchens very carefully."

Boston Globe (Dec. 2, 2009) "A month before the restaurant opened, I spoke with Kenneth Himmel, founder of the restaurant group. “It will be very high energy, very high volume,’’ he said. By that measure, Post 390 succeeded as soon as it opened.

New York Times (Aug. 26, 2009) "For people who enjoy fine dining for its own sake, SHO Shaun Hergatt will be a blessing. It has all the expected trimmings and a kitchen that is functioning at a very high level."

Hotels (Oct. 1, 2009) "Kitchen Design: Problem Solver. Designer Jimi Yui fits a world-class chef's kitchen into a doughnut-shaped box in the sky"  In an interview about the kitchen for Gray Kunz in Café Gray Deluxe in The Upper House in Hong Kong, "a 49th-floor restaurant... overlooking Victoria Harbor. 'When we started, the only given was that the elevator core and shaft in the middle would remain,' Yui says. He was designing the kitchen for the entire hotel, including space for roomservice and had to take care to leave plenty of front-of-house space for the guest experience, from the restaurant dining room to bar space and private dining space. In the end, he solved the puzzle, producing two kitchens that can effectively serve the hotel's guests while keeping their footprints to a minimum and giving everyone, from guests to dishwashers, a great view. The 46-ft. (15-m) long open restaurant kitchen [is] something to behold. The open kitchen was an obvious winner. 'Of all the things we can do, openness and making the space stay as large as it can is important.'

Food Arts (Sept. 2007) named YuiDesign one of the top kitchen design firms in the U.S. 

The Food Network (2006) broadcast Jimi Yui supervising the installation of  Mario Batali's kitchen in Del Posto in a documentary of the construction of the Manhattan restaurant.

Hotels (Sept. 1, 2008) On the design for Charlie Trotter: "The kitchen of Restaurant Charlie at the Palazzo Las Vegas is everything everyone needs it to be...tight but efficiently engineered to give the culinary team a workspace in which they can cook comfortably while still maximizing front-of-house space. Yui compares this process to a ballet. 'If the ballet is orchestrated well with a tuned team, it can occur in 36-inch (91-cm) aisles with three to four people working in tandem, dancing around each other,' he says. 'We work to create a kitchen where nobody is taking more than a step. A great kitchen is where things are within reach, and nobody is criss-crossing to get tools or ingredients to finish what he needs to finish. Where components get planned within a tight space is crucial.'"

Washington Post (Jan. 17, 2007) On Central: "What they discovered was a modern, clean-lined and unfussy interior with an inviting bar, a wall of wine and a big open kitchen similar to the stage set found at Richard's lofty Michel Richard Citronelle in Georgetown. 'I love to see the kitchen!' exclaims Richard."

Lodging (April 2007) "'We are a great culinary nation now in Amerca,' says Jimi Yui, principal of YuiDesign...'Food literacy has skyrocketed in this country in the last 20 years'...Yui expects sous vide to move into the mainstream and says it's one of the only viable methods to produce high-end cuisine that is genuinely labor saving. 'Many restaurants fail in consistency scores, and that's not good enough for us anymore,' Yui says. 'Making a sauteed veal or pasta dente the same way is difficult to replicate, so it's the same concept as a McDonald's consistency but in more difficult applications.'"

Metropolitan Home (April 2007) cited Jimi Yui for the design of the open kitchen at Michel Richard's Central in Washington, DC.

Washington Post (Jan. 24, 2007) on Whole Foods: "Is this the supermarket of the future? The Fair Lakes store hired chefs who have worked in some of the area's best restaurants...Jimi Yui of YuiDesign, based in Takoma Park, designed open kitchens so customers can talk to chefs." Quoting one diner: "It's like watching your own cooking show while you eat. It's the ultimate pleasure."

Home & Design (May/June 2006) In a profile of Jimi Yui: "Yuis work starts in the very earliest stages of restaurant development when his clients propose concepts and sites. Chefs generally come with strong opinions—this is not a field for shrinking personalities and the feint of heart. Yui’s job is to allow them to perform at maximum capacity."

Beech Oven News (Australia, 2007) "Since opening the doors in December 2006, Nobu Hong Kong has created a buzz. ...This energy is further enhanced by a feature open display kitchen designed by legendary US consultant Jimi Yui of YuiDesign. Japanese cuisine has always incorporated presentation as an important feature but the Nobu open kitchen presents the food to diners in an interactive experience that leaves a lasting impression."

The New Yorker (Aug. 4, 2008) on Ed Brown's 81: "At this new American eatery, just across from the Museum of Natural History, surprises abound. One evening, a hostess led a party past the main room and down a narrow hallway, which opened into the kitchen: a gantlet of sorts, lined with staff..."

Washington Post (June 24, 2007) on Brasserie Beck: "And to get to most tables, diners first pass a long, glass-walled kitchen that makes it feel as if you're watching the Food Network with the volume turned off. Across from the hanging copper pans and the dancing flames -- and intense-looking chef de cuisine David Ashwell -- servers in blue shirts line up like soldiers awaiting inspection, murmuring, 'Good evening' and, 'Welcome,' as patrons pass in front of them. By the time you sit down, you've been fed a full show."

Washingtonian (February 2009) on Brasserie Beck: "Vintage train-station touches conjure the romance of backpacking through Europe...The open kitchen glows, giving the high-ceilinged room a warm feel."

DC Modern Luxury Magazine (Aug. 2009) At Inox..."The French word for 'stainless steel'...you'll be tempted to steal glances into the kitchen located behind a wall of glass. The cooking space is larger than many entire restaurants."

New York Times (Dec. 15, 2004) on Café Gray: "Because the kitchen is front and center, like a stage, you invariably notice and find yourself affected by its hustle and bustle..."

ArabianBusiness.Com on Nobu Hong Kong: "The open kitchen designed by Jimi Yui from Yui Design allows the flames to be visible from the wood-burning oven, and the scorched-ash sushi bar with a glowing onyx base maintains the feeling of warmth the kitchen design emits."

Vegas.com on Charlie Trotter's: "Indeed, Restaurant Charlie does have a kitchen table that soars above the kitchen while a ballet of choreographed chefs waltz around below, preparing a spontaneous degustation menu du jour. Additional components of the restaurant include Bar Charlie, 'a restaurant within a restaurant.' The counter-style seating offers several tasting menus and much like a sushi bar, Bar Charlie offers dinner, a show and interaction with the chefs."

The Amateur Gourmet on Café Gray: "We sat right next to the kitchen so we could see the view. I loved our seat: I got to watch everyone cook. And there was Gray Kunz weaving in and out of all the chefs, keeping tabs on everything. And in the context of shows like 'Hell's Kitchen' and books like 'Kitchen Confidential'...it's remarkable to see a kitchen so efficient...all the chefs are on stage: they know everyone's watching them. But still, the kitchen seemed to be a happy place."

Realtor Magazine (June 1, 2007) "'Professional or 'pro' ranges, ovens, and refrigerators land high on many buyers' wish lists,' says Jimi Yui, principal of YuiDesign...Other items generating buzz: Steamers for healthier eating, induction cooktops that keep pots and pans hot but without burning fingers when touched, high-speed ovens that combine forced air and microwave technology to cook the Thanksgiving Day bird in under an hour, and wood stove ovens for pizza. Down the road, Yui expects more products will incorporate chip technology. 'A refrigerator will know not to defrost at the wrong time and spoil food,' he says."

The Washington Times (May 31, 2007) on Brasserie Beck: "To get to the dining areas, you walk past the open kitchen and the service bar. You can watch the process on closed circuit television...with the terrific baguettes, baked on the premises and served with sweet whipped butter. You see the loaves on a kitchen table as you walk past: slim, crusty, hot."

AOL City Guide on Café Gray: "Chefs are silhouetted against a windowful of park in the open kitchen, which makes it a favorite place for diners."

DC Dish on Central: "an exciting...restaurant venture for chef Michel Richard of Georgetown’s acclaimed Citronelle...will serve up creative selections of American cuisine topped off with French accents...in a kitchen conceived by culinary design specialist Jimi Yui.

Gayot.com on Café Gray:  With Gray Kunz, the brasserie tradition becomes classy, even ennobled and the crowds love it. The décor is animated with its play of light and mirrors, and the open kitchen right up front becomes a scenic foreground to the view of the trees in Central Park behind. It's clear that the show to watch is in the kitchen, not outside.

New York Times (Sept. 5, 2007) on Grayz: "Gray Kunz has turned the former Aquavit, in a Rockefeller town house, into a plush, gracious lounge and restaurant...Among the many components on the ground floor are an intimate bar with an open kitchen, a larger lounge and a private room. Downstairs...has been fitted with a dining room and a bar called the Speakeasy..."

New York Times (Jan. 13, 1994) On The SONY Club: "...in the windowless core of the building, Sony has created what may be the most elegant deal-making space in this country, a sushi bar with only five seats (in Japan, a set of four is considered unlucky)...[According to] Barry Wine, the former owner and chef of the Quilted Giraffe restaurant, who is overseeing Sony's food operation, 'To work, the place had to be sophisticated, for people who appreciate quality of design and construction. It had to be modern but not outrageous. And it had to be comfortable enough for a manager of a rock group to sit next to the managers in suits and ties from the electronic business.'"

DC Chefs (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

San Francisco Chefs (2006, 2007, 2008)

     News (PDF)
HomeAboutContactPortfolioNew ProjectsNews