Washington State Chef's

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight - January 2011

Krista Nakamura

Favorite Quote

"Like an artist painting a canvas, working in the culinary industry is incredibly rewarding and satisfying. With each and every stroke of the brush, the artist adds more to what he or she has designed, creating a masterpiece. In the same way, a chef is inspired by each and every plate to perfect a delectable dish—their masterpiece."


Several events pertaining to food captured Krista’s mind at an early age and inspired her to pursue the culinary field as well as the pastry field. The artistic and creative fine details fascinated and encouraged Krista to begin her journey in the food industry. Krista majored in Professional Baking at Renton Technical College during High School and graduated with honors and an increasing desire to learn more than just the art of baking and pastry work. During that time, she was also able to intern at Mike’s Amazing Cakes in Redmond, WA. Her passion grew to new depths, pushing her further to enroll in the culinary arts program.

She began the Culinary Arts program at Renton Technical College while taking outside courses to achieve her AAS degree. She volunteered at several food service events that included: Governors Inaugural Ball, RTC Graduation Dinner, RTC Competition, Special Olympics Box Lunch Build, Encore food show, etc. Throughout the Culinary program, Krista was mentored and inspired greatly by Chef John Fisher who currently is the senior instructor at Renton Technical College. He showed Krista that to be a great chef, it is not just knowing it all in your head but actually living it out and proving it through your actions, high standards and through your cooking.

Over the past year while in the culinary program, She had the privilege of observing RTC’s Junior Culinary team participate in an ACF competition. What intrigued her most was how the team members were able to use food to express themselves on a simple plate and make it more than “just cooking”. For them, food was a passion and a lifestyle, and Krista wanted to share that vision. When the opportunity came for her to compete for the Student Chef of the year competition for Washington State, she took it knowing that it was an event bigger than she had ever dreamed. Achieving the silver medal in June 2010 humbled Krista. She viewed the success as a blessing and an opportunity to go further to the 2011 Student Chef of the year regional competition. Krista realizes the rare responsibility to encourage young chefs who aspire to reach their own goals, but she also thrives on the challenge of cultivating her own culinary education.

Her philosophy on food is that the little details are the most important and most essential part of a dish. Like a story without details, food without detail is bland and unappealing.

After completing her journey in culinary arts, Krista hopes to broaden her learning by seeking out more opportunities to work in the vast field of the food industry. She thrives on stressful and excruciating situations and desires to fulfill that by taking every opportunity she can to test stretch and expand her skills. The next few years will be filled with many challenges and many excitements for her. No matter what opportunities come her way, Krista hopes to share her love for culinary arts and hopefully inspire others to pursue their passions as well.

View her favorite recipe below…

Favorite Recipe



  • 4 Veal scaloppini, about 2 oz. each, pounded
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ½ c. All purpose flour
  • 1 Clove garlic, chopped
  • 5 Cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. Chopped onion
  • 1 c. Fresh baby spinach
  • ½ c. Marsala
  • 1/4-cup Heavy cream
  • TT Salt
  • TT Fresh ground pepper


  1. Add butter in a large heavy hot skillet until melted
  2. Dredge the veal scaloppini with flour (Be sure that the veal ispatted dry before dredging) and sauté the scaloppini in the butter for 1minute on each side.
  3. Remove from skillet and keep them aside in a plate.
  4. Add the garlic, cremini mushrooms and onion to hot skillet and sauté for 2 minutes
  5. Add the spinach and sauté for 1 minute.
  6. Deglaze with Marsala and add the cream.
  7. Bring to a boil and return the veal scaloppini to the skillet with the sauce.
  8. Reduce the sauce slightly and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  9. Serve the veal scaloppini with the mushroom and spinach sauce on top.