Roman Petry is an industry veteran with more than 16 years of experience in international kitchens, including at several of the world’s most renowned Japanese restaurants, including Zuma in London, Zuma in Hong Kong and Hachibei in Tokyo. He has been involved with the San Francisco project since inception, from design to menu creation. His diverse international culinary expertise transforms any restaurant and its cuisine into a true epicurean adventure, as he says his goal is for people to “eat themselves drunk with different flavors.”
As executive chef at ROKA AKOR San Francisco, Petry presents a unique take on modern Japanese Robata cuisine, featuring dishes he created specifically for the San Francisco restaurant, sitting alongside ROKA AKOR classics. Petry’s San Francisco menu is a reflection of local farmers and distillers, featuring locally-sourced ingredients with a minimalistic approach to preparation; in short paying homage to well-known Japanese flavors and traditions, while utilizing the fresh seasonal ingredients available in the Bay Area. ROKA means ‘gathering place around fire,’ and Petry invites San Franciscans and guests to come in for an extraordinary dining experience, centered by world-class Robata dishes, fresh sushi and sashimi and meticulous service.
After completing his formal culinary education in 2000 at Bavaria Hotel Business School in Altoetting, Germany, where he received training in Hotel and Restaurant Management and Financial Operations, Petry learned on the job at a diverse array of international restaurants. Beginning at the two star Michelin restaurant Alois Dallmayr in Munich, Germany, where he learned the techniques of German and French Cuisine, he went on to Obauer in Werfen, Austria, also a two-Michelin-starred restaurant where he focused on central European cuisine with Mediterranean and Asian influences. From there he spent time at Seeger’s in Atlanta, Georgia, the two-Michelin-starred Tristan in Mallorca, Spain and the Michelin-starred Christian’s Restaurant in Kirchdorf, Germany, where he got his first executive chef role at the age of 20, before beginning his foray into Japanese cuisine.
Having yet to try sushi until the age of 19, Petry embraced the opportunity to explore Japanese cuisine to experience something different from the Michelin-starred French, European and Mediterranean restaurants where he received his culinary training. He took a role as chef de partie of Zuma in London in 2005, before moving to the Zuma Hong Kong location as sous chef. From his initial exploration into Japanese cuisine, Petry never looked back, joining ROKA AKOR in Scottsdale, Arizona as executive chef the following year.
Growing up outside of Munich, Germany, Petry’s parents had a produce company, which gave him a profound appreciation for fresh, seasonal ingredients from a young age, and he never had a desire to do anything other than cook. Having worked in kitchens all over the world, Petry also has traveled extensively internationally for inspiration. He spent time backpacking throughout Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Penang and his wife’s hometown of Kuala Lumpur to experience the cuisine first hand.
Petry currently lives in San Francisco. When he’s not in the kitchen, he can be found taking advantage of the surrounding areas, spending as much time as possible in wine country – the Sonoma Coast, Napa Valley and Mendocino – to expand his growing wine collection, or seeking out new travel adventures for culinary inspiration.