Tod Kawachi received his culinary degree from the Seattle Community College in Seattle, Washington and apprenticed as a line cook at Domaine Chandon, in Yountville, California. He moved to the Los Angeles area, working his way up the kitchen ladder from sous chef at the Checkers Hotel, to tournant/sous chef at the Hotel Bel-Air and finally executive sous chef at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel.
In 1994 he moved to Hawaii to be executive chef for Roy’s Kahana Bar & Grill in Maui. Later that year, the Great Chefs television team showed up at Roy’s to tape Chef Kawachi for their Great Chefs of Hawaii television series for the Discovery Channel.
He later moved back to Napa where he started as executive chef for Brix, the Saketini Asian Diner, Eagle Vines Golf Club, and River City Bar & Grill, all in Napa. He then went on as winery chef for Franciscan Estates-Constellation Wines, before becoming an Assistant Professor of Culinary Arts at the CIA in Greystone, where he remains today in 2016.