Speaker's Biography:

Michael Cardenas
Partner, Innovative Dining Group

Michael Cardenas is a partner in Innovative Dining Group. He started his career as a teppan chef in San Diego after graduating from culinary school in 1981. He came to Los Angeles in 1984 to work at Teru Sushi in Studio City and was recruited by the Chaya Restaurant Group as the opening general manager of Chaya Venice. Cardenas joined the Nobu Matsuhisa team in 1991 as a manager and later became general manager, helping launch the first NOBU in New York's Tribeca and another in London. After five years as general manager of Matsuhisa in Beverly Hills, he opened the first Sushi Roku concept in 1997 as the opening general manager and a partner of the Innovative Dining Group. Cardenas has helped develop other concepts, including KATANA on Sunset, BOA steakhouses in L.A., Santa Monica and Las Vegas, and ROBATA BAR. Cardenas operates his own restaurants as well: Aburiya Toranoko, Fat Spoon and the Lazy OX Canteen. His upcoming project - "Taberna Arroz y Vi" - will feature chef Perfecto Rocher, formerly of El Bulli in Spain, due to open late fall in Santa Monica.

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