Movers and ShakersPersonalities

Movers and Shakers On the Peninsula

By Julissa James

High achievers on our radar this month, from Bay Area heavyweights to the next generation of power players.

Jerome Ito

Illustration by Olivia Wise.

Palo Alto noodle-heads, meet your new guru. The chef is serving toothsome, complex and inventive udon dishes at his newest addition to the Stanford Shopping Center: Taro San Japanese Noodle Bar. Ito has already established himself a star in Stanford’s food scene as owner of the wildly popular Go Fish Poke Bar, where he first proved his dedication to the quality and authenticity now present at his latest labor of love. At Taro San, noodles are made fresh daily for items like a luxurious duck udon — tsukemen-style with ginger and fish sauce for dipping. Creative izakaya dishes scatter the menu along with a few legitimate options for vegan diners. Let’s eat!

Mary Meeker

Illustration by Olivia Wise.

This power VC did not come to play. Her latest goal to raise $1.25 billion for her new fund, aptly called Bond, is snatching headlines. Meeker graced the Gazette’s pages last month as one of Danielle Baskin’s venture capitalist trading card heroes (satire, Silicon Valley-style), and her legend status is well-earned. A partner with Kleiner Perkins for years, Meeker backed major companies (think Slack and Pinterest), ensuring the flood of support that’s on the horizon. On the latest news, TechCrunch reports: “With Bond, Meeker is set to be the first woman to raise a $1 billion-plus VC fund.” Mary, we’d wish you luck but something tells us you don’t need it.

Jon M. Chu

Illustration by Olivia Wise.

We’re still buzzing from the Palo Alto native’s directorial hit Crazy Rich Asians. But before being catapulted into Hollywood by an endorsement from Spielberg himself, where he directed sequels and franchises before finding fervor in Crazy Rich Asians, Chu enjoyed local celebrity thanks to his family’s beloved Chinese restaurant Chef Chu’s. This awards season, his film has collected major recognition including the Critics’ Choice for Best Comedy, with its hot streak coming to a head at the Academy Awards on February 24. May we suggest Chef Chu’s signature Beijing duck for your at-home viewing party? It’s just indulgent enough.

Guy Kawasaki

Illustration by Olivia Wise.

As part of the OG Macintosh team in the 1980s, Kawasaki is either to thank or blame for our love/hate relationship with personal devices, but there is no denying that it cemented him as tech legend. After countless years in the field, and many best-selling books under his belt, the Stanford alumnus gets personal in his latest read, Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life. The memoir is released on February 26 and maps out formative experiences in small vignettes, similar to the way our memories play back in our head. He gets real about the lessons he’s learned along the way and, in true Kawasaki form, how they relate to success. On March 4, the author comes to Kepler’s in Menlo Park to talk about his work.

Gaurav Garg and Komal Shah

Illustration by Olivia Wise.

The couple has funded a long-anticipated conversation series, Artists on the Future, kicking off at Stanford’s Oshman Hall early next month. Both Shah and Garg are celebrated for their dedication to the arts in the Peninsula and San Francisco, making them frequent faces on Gazette pages. Their latest passion project will explore social issues through the perspectives of artists and cultural leaders, bringing them together for a thought-provoking discussion. The first installment features Brooklyn-based painter Dana Schutz, famous for her surreal, humorous canvases (our personal favorite: “Swimming, Smoking, Crying,” 2009. Look it up!) and Hamza Walker, the director of LAXART, a nonprofit art space that runs independently in Los Angeles.

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