JEREMY SAWICZ, GENERAL MANAGER
Born and raised in Vancouver, Jeremy is no stranger to the restaurant industry. Since joining the Minami family, he welcomes the Ningenmi philosophy in his work by providing a flawless dining experience to all guests. Through his passion and dedication for Kaizen: coaching, teaching, and self-improvement, Jeremy is the perfect fit for Minami’s management team. He is excited to be apart of the Aburi Restaurants family and looks forward to the new challenges ahead.
SHAWN MULLER, MANAGER
A native of Vancouver, Shawn grew up as a high-level athlete, learning the work ethic necessary to establish himself in the industry. With a passion for food nurtured through travel, Shawn strives to deliver omotenashi service to each guest who walks through the door. Familiar with the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen, he has dedicated not only himself to continuous improvement but becoming a source for others to learn from. Shawn is excited to welcome the Aburi philosophies into his own life.
ALAN FERRER, CORPORATE KITCHEN CHEF OF ABURI RESTAURANTS & EXECUTIVE CHEF OF MINAMI RESTAURANT
Alan’s passion for providing guests with an unforgettable culinary experience has driven his career from the beginning. Starting in Grade 10, Alan has been involved in the local Vancouver food culture, working with some of the top restaurants in town. After hearing accounts of Seigo’s passion and dedication to his restaurants and his employees, Alan decided to join the team. All his experience and hard work propelled him through the ranks to his current dual position as Executive Chef of Minami and Corporate Chef for Aburi Restaurants. A perfectionist by nature, Alan strives to achieve the perfect balance of flavour, texture, presentation, and technique in every dish. This sincere desire for excellence and passion for guest experience allows him to lead by example, encouraging his team to follow in his footsteps.
JAY PUGONG, CHEF DE CUISINE
Jay’s one basic desire is to delight and satisfy people: to present food with soul, allowing Minami’s guests to make new discoveries within their own tastes. It is with this passion for the restaurant industry that has made Jay a staple in Minami’s kitchen. While Jay is driven to reach his own potential, he is always there to help others reach theirs. You’ll always see him with a smile on his face, enthusiastically in bringing both his knowledge and flavour to Minami.
NIKKI TAM, LEAD PASTRY CHEF
Originally from Hong Kong, Nikki has always loved baking and admired the pastry arts. After studying art in Toronto, she moved back to Hong Kong and pursued a career as an interior designer. However, she soon realized that she desired to be in the kitchen, creating and indulging in her favourite foods. It was then she decided to move to Vancouver for pastry school to pursue her dreams. Combining her love for design, and passion for food, plates became the best blank canvas for her to express herself. Now the Lead Pastry Chef at Minami, Nikki welcomes and embraces the three pillars of Aburi in her work.
ERIC MOON, SOUS CHEF
Born in Korea, Eric’s passion for cooking stemmed from his family roots. His mother, who ran her own restaurant, inspired and encouraged his early interest in cooking. Learning the in’s and out’s of how to run a restaurant and build a menu from his mother, Eric’s love of cooking flourished. His time in the army also taught him about leadership which in turn helped him build strong relationships with his fellow colleagues. During his spare time, Eric enjoys trying new cuisines and of course, cooking for his loved ones.
JOOHWHAN YEUM, SUSHI SOUS CHEF
Originally from Korea, cooking has been a gradual, growing dream for Joohwhan since he was young. He was always happy to invite his friends over and cook for them after school. His devoted passion continued to grow while studying in other fields. It wasn’t until later on that Joohwhan decided to take the plunge and pursue his lifelong passion. Finally, he decided to pursue his passion. Over the years, he has studied and mastered the art of Japanese cuisine, working at various restaurants in the Lower Mainland. During his spare time, he practices Kendo, the Japanese art of swordsmanship – he believes that the same principles of Kendo apply to our company philosophy, Ningenmi.
BRINTON CHUA, SOUS CHEF
Born in the Philippines and raised in Canada with a full Chinese background, and inspiration from his mother’s cooking, Brinton has many different influences in food. In 2016, he attended the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts learning classical French techniques in both Culinary and Pastry. After graduating at the top of his class, Brinton went on to pursue his passion here at Minami. Quickly moving from a line cook to a lead line cook position and now to Sous Chef, he continues to give unforgettable experiences to Minami’s guests. With endless passion and drive, Brinton continues to learn, grow and teach here at Minami.