Our Team

Ben Hunter

Ben Hunter

Regional Director

Born and raised in Vancouver, Ben is no stranger to the city and the culinary adventures it has to offer. He adopted the Ningenmi philosophies naturally and transitioned into the Aburi team with ease, greatly due to his undeniable passion for the restaurant industry and welcoming, personable nature. As an industry veteran, Ben quickly became one of the lead employees on the Minami opening team. After running the Penny Lane pub with his father for nearly a decade, and opening up The Hood neighbourhood pub, Ben’s experience and professional relationships in the industry made him a clear-cut choice to develop the bar. Shortly after the opening of Minami, Ben was promoted to Manager, and it was not long after that his expertise was pressed into service once again, while he found himself as a key person in the opening of Miku Waterfront. His depth of knowledge and dedication earned him the position of General Manager. Ben brings experience, leadership, professionalism, passion and a level of customer service that embraces the concept of Omotenashi wholeheartedly. It is no wonder both the customers and staff alike love being on shift or dining in the restaurant where Ben sets the tone.

Autumn Hong

Autumn Hong

Operations Manager

Autumn, like most people in restaurants, has always had a passion for food and drink. It wasn’t until she moved to Vancouver though that she realized there is more to running a successful restaurant than just great food, like a genuine appreciation for hospitality and benevolence. It is since this realization that she has dedicated herself to offering not just a great meal, but an unforgettable experience. Through innate skills and knowledge gained through years of working at some of Canada’s (and the world’s) finest restaurants, Autumn hopes to set Miku Restaurant apart by continuing to offer genuine service and attentive care to each and every guest and helping them to truly enjoy the entire experience from the moment they make the reservation till the moment they walk out the door.

Aaron Matsuzaki

Aaron Matsuzaki

General Manager

Aaron’s passion for Japanese sake, cocktails, and cuisine, rooted early into his life, moving him to live in Japan for 2 years at the young age of 21. His love for genuine guest interaction has carried him through 12 years in the food and beverage industry, 9 years being in managerial roles. The beginning of January 2017 marked Aaron’s start at Miku Vancouver. Naturally, he fit into the company’s pillars, namely “Omotenashi,” going above and beyond to provide an exceptional, personalized experience to every guest. Not too long after in October 2018, Aaron pursued the roll of Miku’s General Manager, and continues to lead the team in their growth.

Malcolm Simpson

Malcolm Simpson

Manager

Originally from Sydney Australia, Malcolm has lived and worked in Tokyo for over 10 years. He has a range of experience having opened restaurants and consulted for international restaurant groups throughout Australia, Japan, England and the USA.
Mal joined the Miku Management team in 2017. Of the Aburi three pillars, he identifies most with Ningenmi; with experience in both back-of-house and front-of-house positions, he is a strong believer that sincerity along with knowledge, and passion, go a long way in providing an exceptional dining experience.

Miguel Arrais

Miguel Arrais

Manager

Hailing from the province‘s capital, Miguel moved to Vancouver to pursue his post-secondary education after taking a few years to travel the world. Attending both the University of British Columbia and Langara College, Miguel graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2013. Miguel’s time with the Aburi family began in 2012 as part of the inaugural service staff at Minami and continued when he moved over to Miku to assist with its re-opening in 2013. Since then, he has transitioned into the management team at Miku and turned his focus to wine, attaining his WSET level 3 and also the Certified Sommelier designation from the Court of Master Sommeliers. As Miku’s Head Sommelier, Miguel is now combining his knowledge of business and his passion for wine to curate Miku’s extensive wine list.

Shota Yoshitake

Shota Yoshitake

Manager

Born and raised in the Greater Vancouver area, Shota is the latest member to join the management team at Miku Vancouver. Shota first joined Miku in 2016 as a member of the support staff. He worked his way up the ranks in the following years to join the serving team, bar team, and now, the management team. Shota credits his previous eight years of experience in the food and beverage industry, both back and front of house, working at some of the best Japanese restaurants in Vancouver. Shota’s progression at Miku was seamless as he truly identifies with all three company pillars. In particular, Shota embodies the qualities of “Ningenmi,” working hard every day to instill positive energy and joy to all guests.

Kazuhiro Hayashi

Kazuhiro Hayashi

Corporate Sushi Chef of Aburi Restaurants and Executive Chef of Miku Restaurant

As the son of a famous ceramicist from Kyoto, Japan, sushi chef Kazuhiro Hayashi brings creative and artistic flare to the Miku team. Relocating to Canada at the age of thirteen, Kazuhiro had an ambition to learn English and so he accepted a position as a dishwasher in a sushi restaurant. From this humble beginning, he developed a keen interest for food and eventually moved up the ranks to become Miku’s Head Sushi Chef. Drawing from inspiration influenced by his artisan father, Kazuhiro has perfected the “art” of sushi. The place you will see him happiest is behind the Miku sushi bar, where he has already created a reputation for himself. “Seeing the smile on my customer’s face is my motivation for being the best chef I can be.”

Yoshitaka Miyamoto

Yoshitaka Miyamoto

Chef de Cuisine

Yoshi’s passion in life is to make people happy. He’s found a way to express this passion through his beautiful sushi and cuisine created at Miku. Bringing his 14 years experience in the restaurant world, his strong belief in Ningenmi- compassion and team work- Yoshi is a perfect fit at Miku. Within Aburi’s three pillars, he finds the outlet to impress the guests at Miku.

Shingo Fujiwara

Shingo Fujiwara

Head Sushi Chef