Hello and welcome to my little part of the world! My name is Kevin Futamachi and I’m pleased to meet you.
I grew up in a little city called Reno, otherwise known as “The Biggest Little City in the World”. From an early age somehow I knew that pastry would be my life. It began with an Easy-Bake oven from Santa when I was about 8 years old and from there my interest and skills in sugar developed over the years into something truly dear to my heart.
I remember Saturday mornings were filled with Julia Child and Jacques Pepin on TV instead of the regular cartoon lineup. I was always fascinated with the science and art of baking bread or decorating a cake and something eventually took hold of me. I found my passion!!
When I was in high school there was a new series that started airing on PBS called Baking with Julia….umm, yes please!! This show was dedicated to the art of baking and each episode highlighted a chef with different pastry skills to share with the world. I, of course bought the book to go along with the series and when I would find time between homework assignments and papers I would bake something from the book following the instructions with great detail. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was setting up a foundation for culinary school several years later.
Once I graduated high school I attended university like most other graduates expect to do. I started my college career focusing on Interior Design and Graphic Design but eventually lost focus. I still found myself baking on the weekends and experimenting with different flavor combinations as a barista. Life was sending me signs and it was time to listen.
I took a sabbatical from college and I researched and applied to a few top culinary schools but decided on The French Culinary Institute in New York City as my future. Here I would be able to work alongside the likes of Jacques Torres and Jacques Pepin. It also boasts of some top culinary graduates like Bobby Flay, David Chang and Dan Barber to name a few.
As you can imagine moving to one of the largest cities in the world to begin my dream was quite the undertaking. This was the first time I had ever left my comfort zone and headed out on my own. Can you say culture shock?! OMG, this was like nothing I had ever experienced, I mean my family is from the Bay Area and so we went to San Francisco on a regular basis to visit family but nothing could compare to actually living life in a big city.
Things felt a little off for a hot minute until my pastry term started. The first day of class we discussed history and techniques and then it was the practical part of the lesson. The first day and there we were making a Classic French Apple Tart. The second I smelled the sweet French butter I knew this was the start of something big. I had never felt so at home and I instantly got the warm fuzzies from everything we were learning.
That year in New York flew by filled with Broadway Shows, eating, shopping, eating, baking, eating, cooking and eating. I learned just as much bouncing around the city as I did attending classes at The FCI.
I graduated with top marks in my class and felt like I could take on anything at that point. As Frank Sinatra said “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere…”.
I was fearless and this new confidence took me around the world. But that’s a story for another time….