Our Team Kōjin

Paula Navarrete, Executive Chef

Paula was born and raised in Colombia and moved to Toronto in her early teens. Paula has been with Momofuku Toronto since opening in 2012, starting as a Sous Chef at Noodle Bar before moving to Daishō where she rose to Chef de Cuisine. Before Momofuku, Paula worked at North 44,  Colborne Lane, and learned butchery at Sanagan’s Meat Locker. At Kōjin, the menu is inspired by Paula’s childhood spent around the grill in Colombia, her love of Ontario’s meat and produce, and what she has learned at Momofuku over the past 6 years.

Alejandro Andaluz, General Manager

Alejandro was born in Guatemala and developed a passion for hospitality at the age of 16 when he first began working in restaurants. He moved to Toronto in 2005, and gained experience in restaurant openings while opening and managing Locale Restaurant’s two locations before joining Kōjin in 2018. Alejandro has his WSET Level 2 and is currently preparing to challenge the Court of Master Sommeliers exams.

Steven Sousa, Beverage Director

Steven has worked in restaurants since the age of 15, but he became passionate about food and wine after completing his BSc. in Psychology at the University of Toronto. He went on to complete his sommelier diploma with the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. He has been a member of the Momofuku Toronto team since 2012.

Riley Krieger-Mercer, Director of Operations

Riley has worked in hospitality since 2003. A sommelier by trade, he has worked properties in Canada and Australia including the Four Seasons Whistler, the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, and Chef Matt Moran’s Aria Restaurant in Brisbane, Australia. After moving to Toronto in 2018, Riley has happily found his home at Momofuku.