Farewell to Chef Joji Sumi

The following blog post is excerpted from our weekly newsletter,
published on October 6, 2013.

Photo credit Angela Cardinali

Farewell to Chef Joji

Mezze Bistro + Bar has been at a few different locations over the years, with a handful of chefs during its progression to a restaurant focused on seasonal, regional cuisine. For the past six years, Chef Joji Sumi has been at the helm running the kitchen and directing the food. On October 15, Joji will leave us and head west, first to Michigan to visit with family and then on to exciting adventures in San Francisco.

Photo credit Angela Cardinali


Joji was, from the beginning, a supporter of the Mezze philosophy using local ingredients in season. He worked with a small group of farmers, developing strong relationships and helping farms succeed. He began our program of purchasing whole animals and butchering them in house, with complete dedication to the nose-to-tail cooking philosophy that keeps our kitchen sustainable and our menus delicious. While Joji has the same passion for food common to more notorious chefs, he has never shared their love for the spotlight. We think it’s time to recognize his hard work that helped us arrive at an excellent place.

Farewell Chef Joji. We will miss your dedication to our farmers, your commitment to excellence and the consistently amazing food you have put on our plates over the last six years. We wish you well on your next adventure, hopefully after a long break.

We hope to see you soon at Mezze Bistro to join us in this moment as we send off one of our favorite chefs. Come visit in the next week to wish Joji* well and send him thanks for feeding us deliciously for so many years!


A Smooth Transition

Change is part of history. As a restaurant that has been around for more than 15 years, we are always growing and gearing up for the next experience. We welcome new farmers joining the ranks of our seasoned ones to offer us a wider selection of produce, pasture-raised animals and artisan-crafted foods. Menu selections are as important to us as the sourcing of our ingredients and we are fortunate to be evolving during a food revolution of great chefs who truly care about their craft and a following of diners who appreciate the philosophy and all of this hard work. Alongside this progression, we too, are evolving and embracing the next step.

We are excited to announce the arrival of Chef Pedro Rangel who has been working in the kitchen with Joji for a smooth transition. More about Chef Pedro coming soon!



* Although we have previously honored Joji’s request to not publish photos of him for the last six years, this occasion warrants the consequences.

All photos courtesy of Angela Cardinali (who is risking her own hide by publishing these images.)