HOLLYWOOD (KABC) -- About 20 years ago, Chef Vallerie Archer stepped inside Hollywood Japanese restaurant Yamashiro for the first time.
"My husband took me here on our first date," said Archer.
Today she is the first female executive chef at Yamashiro, a title she never saw coming.
"It's very empowering. It feels great, it's a great accomplishment," she said.
Archer went from a stay-at-home mom with a catering company to a pastry chef at Yamashiro in 2019. She was promoted to executive sous chef and quickly climbed up the ranks to become executive chef just before the pandemic hit.
"I've never worked at a restaurant. I've only interned at restaurants and to lead such an iconic restaurant, to be the head chef is a dream come true," she said.
Born in the Philippines, Archer said she grew up in her grandfather's bakery there. His craft inspired her at a young age. The ginger soy ribs on the menu at Yamashiro is one of his recipes.
"It's a male dominant industry in the first place. And I was very intimidated," said Archer when talking about leading the kitchen staff.
But she plans to put this title to good use aside from the food.
"I hope that I can serve a purpose as far as mentoring girls, giving them advice," said Archer.
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Yamashiro Hollywood hires first female executive chef in its 107-year history
Shhh! Ask for Chef Vallerie's menu at Yamashiro, you'll be offered secret menu items.