Naomi Kakiuchi, RD, CP, CCP

Naomi Kakiuchi is President of NuCulinary, a culinary education company with a mission of sharing food and culture to bring people together.  From 1997 through 2010, NuCulinary provided weekly classes Uwajimaya teaching the culinary traditions of Asia. Today NuCulinary classes are found at The Foundry by Herban Feast and other popular Seattle venues.

Prior to NuCulinary, Naomi specialized in commercial food service operations and food sales for healthcare clients. She currently teaches private cooking classes and creates custom teambuilding events and cooking parties. An expert in Asian cuisine, she is a favorite guest instructor at other Northwest area cooking schools and wellness lectures. As a registered dietitian and IACP Certified Culinary Professional, all of Naomi's classes are a balanced blend of food, history, nutrition, and fun.

In alignment with her quest for fresh, Naomi ran the Chef Program for the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance's seven urban farmers markets in greater Seattle. Her live chef demonstrations highlighted the Northwest’s chefs and farmers, providing shoppers the how-to for cooking and eating with the area’s bounty of seasonal fresh produce.

Her community service includes her work as food committee chair for the Executive Development Institute’s benefit dinner and auction, and serves on the board of the Women’s Business Exchange. She has served as adjunct professor for both Seattle Pacific University and Bastyr University in their Nutrition and Culinary Arts programs.

Naomi is the Executive Producer of a series of educational DVD’s, The Art of Sushi. Bringing together traditional and modern tastes, Naomi features both her mom, Matsue Watanabe, demonstrating the recipes passed down in their family, as well as techniques from guest sushi master, Hajime Sato. The DVDs are available in several retail stores and on-line on our Products page here.

In 2008, the The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics presented Naomi’s recipes in their cookbook, The American Dietetic Association Cooking Healthy Across America.

Naomi’s passion lies in the building of community. Her belief is that the dinner table is a staple of a balanced society and by sharing the table with all cultures, we expand our ability to create peace through a keen understanding of our global neighbors.

NuCulinary instructors have a vast background in the food services industry spanning over 20 years. We’ve worked as dietitians, nutritionists, chefs, caterers, culinary instructors, and corporate food service executives. Our experience is international, so we have a breadth and depth of expertise to share. Let us help you bring new flavors to your table.
Toby Kim

Toby Kim:
Toby Kim was born in Hawaii and grew up in Seattle, learning the traditions of Korean Cooking from his mother and grandmother.  He is an adventuresome chef of international foods and enjoys sharing his enthusiasm and knowledge so others will be inspired.  He graduated from the Seattle Culinary academy at Seattle Central Community College. He then began his restaurant experience at The Herbfarm Restaurant, and most recently he was Sous Chef at Poppy, the popular restaurant on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. NuCulinary is delighted to have him as our instructor for our Knife Skills classes and our Everyday Asian Pantry series at the Renton Uwajimaya!

Sam Ung

Sam Ung:
Growing up in Battambang, Sam spent his early years helping his parents out at their family restaurant. At the age of 10, he started bussing tables, seating customers, and taking keen notes on kitchen activities. When he was 15, he was asked to fill in for a chef who was absent. He was a natural. He realized his passion and talent for the art of cooking.

His time in the kitchen was short lived because just a few years after his first experience, the Khmer Rouge took over the country. For four long years, culinary arts were nothing more than salt and rice porridge. After surviving the Khmer Rouge and immigrating to the United States, he managed to continue his career in cooking at The Rainier Club, in downtown Seattle as the Gaŕde Manger chef. As the “keeper of food” or pantry supervisor, he also had the opportunity to showcase his edible fruit art.

Sam wanted to share his passion for cooking and the taste of authentic Cambodian food. So, in 1987, he founded Phnom Penh Noodle House, a tiny, two-story restaurant in the International District. For ten years, his family-run business only served 7 different noodle bowls. The restaurant expanded in 1997 to seat 120 customers, offering more than 60 dishes, and catering for all occasions. The framed silk paintings, brass statues, marble tabletops, water fountain, and aquarium with coy fish help create the Khmer ambiance.

Cambodian cuisine is closely related to her neighboring country Vietnam Laos and Thailand, although it is not as spicy. Curries, salty fish, jasmine rice, noodles and soups are staples of the Khmer diet. An abundance of herbs and spices are used in their dishes such as galangal, star anise, ginger, turmeric, paprika, lemon grass, and kaffir lime leaves.

Robert Carmack & Morrison Polkinghorne

Robert Carmack & Morrison Polkinghorne:
Robert Carmack and Morrison Polkinghorne have a passion for Southeast Asia, and especially its food. They travel extensively through the region, and NuCulinary was delighted to secure them for an exclusive cooking class here in Seattle in April 2010, while they were visiting America.  

Known as The Globetrotting Gourmet, Robert is author of Thai Home Cooking, Vietnamese Home Cooking, Desserts with Spirit! and Fondue, the latter cookbook translated into four languages. Several times yearly, Robert hosts gastronomic tours to Asia, and he writes on food and travel for numerous magazines around the world. Robert grew up and studied in the Northwest, and he now lives in Australia.

Morrison Polkinghorne is a leading interior designer, a film-maker, and director of The Globetrotting Gourmet. He has filmed and edited food presentations on subjects including the Japanese history of soy sauce, contemporary fish sauce in Thailand today, coffee and tea growing in Vietnam, and Mexican tequila.

Traveling with this dynamic duo is great fun, full of laughs, ribaldry and breaking bread -- or rather, rice -- together.



Keith Wood Photography