Kai Kani is a 17-year-old chef. At the tender age of 2, she would spend her afternoons watching the Food Network. By the age of 3, her mom had a new helper in the kitchen.
When Kai was 6, her mom would let her cook on her own in the kitchen. Kai would constantly study the science behind cooking. She would spend her days watching cooking documentaries and reading cookbooks.
Over the past 13 years, Kai has tested and perfected her skills in the kitchen and has crafted many dishes such as cabbage slowly cooked in coconut butter with smoked almond, a foie gras macaron with black truffle, and kombu cured fluke with apple, lemongrass, and mint.
Along with her innovative dishes, Kai has also proven her skills as a pastry chef. She started her first baking business at the age of 10 “ Kai’s Kakery”, which lead her to hosting private events for The Oprah Winfrey Network, Kyle Richards of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and LL Cool J.
Kai’s style of cooking is Progressive Modern American. As influenced by some of the best, Thomas Keller, Daniel Humm, and Curtis Duffy, she focuses on using naturally farmed and locally sourced ingredients.
At 13, Kai interned at “Union Restaurant” under the tutelage of Bruce Kalman in Pasadena. She accompanied Bruce to New York City, as his sous chef, when he was asked to cook at the James Beard House.
At the age of 14, Kai started her first pop up restaurants, “KAI” which features a highly seasonal 8 to 15 course tasting menu in Los Angeles. From the success of the first pop up, Kai started “KAI BRUNCH”and MERAKAI, which is a Vegan pop up restaurant. She then interned at “ The Gadarene Swine” in Studio City, where she was the Junior Sous Chef.
Kai has been a part of the 2016 Academy Awards Gift Bag. She has been a guest chef on NBC’s “The Talk,” where she did a cooking demonstration, showing the ladies of the show how to make her favorite lobster rolls. She has been a featured professional chef on “Food Fighters,” and has been on “EXTRA.” In 2017 Kai was featured as one of the 100 Boss Ladies across 10 categories on the Create Cultivate 100 list. She was a standout in the field of cooking.
With a few cookbooks in the works, product development and working on opening a restaurant, Kai continues in her constant pursuit of developing new dishes, being home schooled has allowed Kai to have the time and freedom to accomplish a great deal within the culinary arts, and will continue to do so for years to come.