chef’s bio

Koshiki Yonemura

Native to Kyushu Japan, Koshiki Yonemura has been chef/owner of Tanpopo Restaurant in St. Paul, an award winning Minnesota based Japanese restaurant, for the past 11 years. Upon graduating from University of Minnesota and she worked at a number of well known Japanese restaurants in the Twin Cities, including Origami and Kikugawa. In the Spring of 2000, she opened Tanpopo in St. Paul’s Cathedral Hill neighborhood. In 2003, the restaurant expanded into its current location near the Farmer’s Market in St. Paul’s arty Lowertown neighborhood.

After opening Tanpopo, she quickly developed a reputation for serving fresh, seasonal, Japanese comfort food inspired from her childhood in Japan. She has participated in three Cook’s Tuesday events at the Minnesota State Fair to create more awareness of local products and farmers. Over the past seven years, she has taught dozens of Japanese cooking classes at various locations including Cooks of Crocus Hills, Coastal Seafood, and Tanpopo.

In 2008, she was named one of the top 25 chefs in the Twin Ciites by Foodservice News. Tanpopo has also won awards for editor’s choice for Best Japanese Restaurant in 2004, Best St. Paul Cafe in 2008 and 2010 by City Pages.

Awards and Mentions

  • Minnesota Monthly, Table Talk 2010.
  • City Pages, Best Cafe in St. Paul 2010.
  • City Pages, Best Cafe in St. Paul for 2008.
  • Foodservice News, Top 25 Chefs (nominated by their peers) 2008
  • Metro Magazine, top 100 reasons to live in the twin cities 2008.
  • Minnesota Monthly, Best Japanese Restaurant 2008.
  • City Pages, Jan. 12, 2005, Noted as one of the best restaurants of 2004 by Dara Moskowitz at City Pages.
  • Chosen as the ‘Best Japanese Restaurant’ in the City Page’s ‘Best of the Twin Cities’ edition 2004.

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