Chef James Siao
James Siao is the executive chef of Finch & Fork restaurant at Kimpton's Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara, California. He is responsible for the menus at Finch & Fork, as well as the banquet and in-room menus for the Kimpton Canary Hotel and oversees the entire kitchen staff.
In 2012, Siao became the executive chef of Coast restaurant in Santa Barbara, and Coast subsequently evolved to became Finch & Fork in 2013. As the executive chef, Siao has created a modern American bar and grill menu focusing on ingredients from local fishers, farmers and ranchers. He has created a menu that features shareable plates such as the flatbreads, chicken fried "oyster" sliders and deviled eggs, as well as larger soul satisfying plates such as his popular fried chicken, lamb burger, and seared scallops.
Siao grew up in Ohio, and spent time working his way up in his father's Chinese restaurant. He attended culinary school in Pittsburgh. He spent time cooking in smaller restaurants in Ohio, and quickly rose to become executive chef in 2002. He later moved to Arizona, taking culinary positions at the Marriot Renaissance before his most recent post as chef de cuisine at Taggia restaurant, at Kimpton's Firesky Resort in Scottsdale.
In 2009, he had the opportunity to help a friend open a restaurant in Italy. He returned to Taggia in 2010, bringing an even better guest experience to his clientele, and drawing from the influences and lessons he had learned in Italy. He headed to Santa Barbara shortly after in 2012.
In his free time, James likes to participate in local charitable events, such as Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation. He also enjoys a good road trip, and is often heading up or down the coast to Los Angeles or San Francisco to check out the food scene.