Former Masterchef contestant now has more than £17,000 pledged to make his dream of a modern Japanese restaurant in the heart of the town a reality.
The pop-up in Regent Street shut its doors in December after winning an army of fans including local foodie and friend of Gloucestershire Live Dom Joly.
Koj launched a Kickstarter to help make casual Japanese dining part of the permanent Cheltenham restaurant scene last week. With updates to the layout of the building in Regent Street, taking the cocktail bar upstairs and expanding the currently cramped kitchen,currently underway the plan is to have the restaurant ready for Easter.
Andrew Kojima is a British-Japanese chef, teacher and writer based in the Cotswolds. He started cooking at a young age and considered becoming a chef after reading Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential.
Eventually he seized the opportunity to turn his passion into his profession, after reaching the pinnacle of amateur cooking success in the final of BBC1’s MasterChef. His first stop was Michel Roux Junior’s Le Gavroche and he has continued a fast track training programme in the kitchens of Michelin star chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal, Brett Graham and Sergio Herman.
He continues to develop his career and since moving West has worked with Guy Manning at The Red Lion and Martin Burge at Whatley Manor, both in Wiltshire. He combines the discipline and techniques learned from top restaurants with his own imagination, flair and creativity.