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

General 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.

Stephen Whiteside

Stephen Whiteside

Beverage Director

Drawing international experience from Ireland, the United Kingdom and Australia, Stephen has settled in Vancouver finding a home with us at Aburi Restaurants. He began his time as a bartender at Miku, inspiring those around him with his passion for beverage and drive to learn the Japanese culture. Stephen thrives to give his guest a unique cocktail experience whenever they take a seat at his bar. Now the Bar Manager at Miku, he continues to embrace the Aburi philosophy and lead the beverage culture throughout the company.

Beck Chung

Beck Chung

Manager

Born in Taiwan and raised in Vancouver, Beck has immersed himself in the restaurant industry since the age of 21. He started as a bus boy at Red Door then he quickly moved his way up. Working at some Vancouver’s top restaurants such as Earls Restaurant and Coast by Glowbal Group, he has learned to share his love for food and wine with every guest in various positions. Furthering his passion for wine, Beck has also completed his WSET Advanced Level 3 and Court of Master Sommelier Level 1. Later on, he was given and earned the opportunity of opening, developing and managing a new concept called NOSH for Glowbal Group. Finally, Beck has found a home where he aims to bring his passion for people, zest for food and drinks, and experience into Miku by embracing the company’s three pillar philosophies of Aburi, Ningenmi, and Zekkei.

Franz Vickerson

Manager
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.”

Chris Janik

Chris Janik

Executive Pastry Chef

Chris is one of the longest standing members of our team. He has been with us since before we opened, and has been the mastermind behind almost all the desserts presented in the restaurant. His kind demeanor and humility make him extremely approachable. Chris was also nominated by the team for the first Miku MVP appreciation in 2011 and won a trip to Japan to learn more about the lifestyle and cuisine of the Japanese.

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

Sous Chef