Mark Segawa-Gonzales is the son of a Japanese father and a Mexican mother. Born and raised on the island of Hawaii, he had an appreciation for the fresh produce and fish so readily available to the islands. Mako, as they call him, spent the last three years of high school and the first two years of college in Tucson, Arizona, adding to his rich cultural influence. After receiving his degree from the CIA in 1992, he returned to the islands and joined Roy Yamaguchi’s Roy’s Kahana Bar & Grill shortly after its opening.
Two years later, he was part of the team that opened Roy’s Poipu Bar & Grill on Kauai, and was appointed as executive chef. Later in 1994, the Great Chefs television team showed up at Roy’s Poipu to tape chef Mako for their Great Chefs of Hawaii television series for the Discovery Channel.
Mako eventually left the islands in 2007 with his mainland wife, and opened the Maui Beach Café in Manhattan Beach, California and a few years later, a second Maui Beach Café in Westwood, outside of Los Angeles. In 2012, Mako and Roy Yamaguchi got together again, this time as a partner/chef for Roy’s Desert Ridge in Phoenix where he remains today in 2016.