Photo of Roy Yamaguchi
March 28, 2018

Saint Martin's University announces that celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi will host Saint Martin's Gala 2018: Hawai`i and Pacific Islands on Nov. 3, 2018. 

LACEY, Wash. – Saint Martin’s University has announced that the 2018 Saint Martin’s Gala will focus on the theme of Hawai`i and Pacific Islands and feature James Beard Award-winning Chef Roy Yamaguchi.

The Saint Martin's Gala, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 3, in the Marcus Pavilion on Saint Martin’s main campus in Lacey, is the University’s major fundraising event for student scholarships. Last year’s Gala raised $1.2 million for scholarships. Over the years, the black-tie affair has grown to be the premier culinary event in the South Sound region, featuring a live auction, a five-course gourmet dinner and on-stage cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs. Previous featured chefs have included Ming Tsai, Andrew Zimmern and Ligia Karazawa, Lidia Bastianich, and Michael Symon.

The last two Galas have showcased the University's many international partnerships and initiatives, with the 2017 Gala focusing on the University’s relationship with China and the 2016 Gala highlighting Saint Martin’s ties with Brazil.

As University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D., explained, “This year’s Gala celebrates Saint Martin's longstanding relationship with Hawai`i and the Pacific Islands, and the ways in the which that connection has influenced the University throughout its history.”

Roy Yamaguchi is known as an award-winning chef, restaurateur and media personality who took the memories of his childhood spent growing up on an American military base in Japan, his father’s Hawai`ian roots and his own training in classic French cuisine to create his own personal style of Hawai`i-inspired cuisine. Yamaguchi is the chef and founder of Roy’s Restaurants, Roy’s Beach House, Eating House 1849 and Humble Market Kitchin. He has published four cookbooks and hosted six seasons of the PBS series “Hawai`i Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi,” which was the first television cooking series to be shot totally on location in farms across Hawai`i.

Yamaguchi was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, in 1976. After graduating, Yamaguchi continued his training in classic French cooking at some of the most influential California restaurants of the time. In 1984, he opened his first restaurant, 385 North, in Hollywood, California. In 1988, he moved to Honolulu, Hawai`i, to open the first Roy’s Restaurant, which launched a new and exciting shift in Hawai`i’s dining scene, with a menu influenced by California cuisine, classic French technique and Asian flavors. In 1993, Yamaguchi was the first person from Hawai`i to receive the James Beard Best Pacific Northwest Chef Award. He is the co-founder, along with Alan Wong and Denise Yamaguchi, of the Hawai`i Food & Wine Festival, and he established the Tom and Warren Matsuda Scholarship Fund for students to attend the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, in Honolulu. He also serves as a trustee or board member for the U.S.-Japan Council, Go For Broke National Education Center, the Culinary Institute of America and the Culinary Institute of the Pacific.

Tables and individual tickets for Saint Martin’s Gala are now available through the Saint Martin’s University Gala website at

The corporate-level sponsors for 2018 Saint Martin’s Gala include: Bon Appétit Management Company, Capitol City Press, Hanson Subaru of Olympia, KCTS9, Showcase Magazine, WSECU and Rob Rice Homes.

Individuals or organizations interested in sponsoring Saint Martin’s Gala can contact Dana Pethia, director for fundraising events and corporate sponsors, at

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washing­ton. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedic­tine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

For additional information:

Genevieve Chan
Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Dana Pethia
Director for Fundraising Events and Corporate Sponsors

Kevin Hyde
Media Relations Manager