James Syhabout ’97

Oakland Tech Alum (Class of 1997) and Two Star Michelin Chef James Syhabout is donating 5% of diners’ bills at his restaurants – Commis (two Michelin stars), The Dock, & Hawker Faire – to Oakland Public Schools.

Enjoy delicious food, support a local Oakland business owned by a Tech alum, and contribute to Oakland’s public schools.

Syhabout’s Dine Out and Give Back fundraiser goes through the end of the January.


James Syhabout, Class of 1997

James Syhabout was born in a refugee camp in Ratchathani, Thailand in 1979 and settled in California when he was two years old. Syhabout’s interest in cooking came from his mother, a chef at a Thai restaurant in Oakland.

Following graduation from Tech, Syhabout went to the California Culinary Academy, from which he graduated in 1999 and went straight to the well renowned restaurant Manresa.

After working at other notable restaurants and making appearances on Chef America, Syhabout opened his first restaurant, Commis, which is the only restaurant in Oakland to receive a Michelin star, a feat it received after being open for only a few months.

Since opening Commis, Syhabout has opened Hawker Fare in Oakland’s Uptown, which serves family-style Southeast Asian street food inspired by Syhabout’s Thai heritage, with a particular emphasis on the cuisine of Isaan, in the country’s northwest. He opened a second Hawker Fare in San Francisco’s Mission District in early 2015.

James was inducted into the Inaugural Class of Oakland Tech’s Hall of Honor at the Centennial Gala in May of 2015.