Prior to his culinary journey, Eddie was a mixed martial artist, and the culinary industry was not anything he considered to be on the table. However, after he suffered an accident that left him with a broken back, and bed ridden for a few months, Eddie had to make a strategic career pivot. Martial arts had been such a big part of his life, and at 38 years old, he wasn’t sure where a new career path would take him.  

During this time of reflection, he discovered the show Top Chef and became fascinated with the entire industry, from the unique cooking styles of the chefs to the meticulous and artistic plating techniques.  

Inspired by what he saw, Eddie made a bold decision to pursue a new path—one that led him to culinary school in Austin, Texas. With an eager desire to learn, he immersed himself in the world of culinary arts, and two years later, armed with a culinary degree, Eddie was ready to embark on his next adventure. 


As he sketched out a game plan, Eddie knew that he wanted to open his own restaurant and serve Japanese food inspired by his time stationed in Japan while serving in the U.S. Navy. But first, he needed to develop sushi making and kitchen management skills, so Eddie worked at restaurants in Austin for 2 years each, to learn these techniques.  

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic threw a curveball that left Eddie at a crossroads, but he was determined to use the skills he’d learned to create a food truck – the original “Roaming Ronin.” While Eddie was developing this business plan, a friend of his reached out about a vacant space that would be perfect for Eddie’s new restaurant.  

“My friend offered to pay for any renovations to get this building up and running,” explains Eddie, “but the catch was that I had to move back to Corpus.”  

At that moment, the decision was a little difficult because Eddie was enjoying being in Austin; he was making good money and had just purchased a home. Moving to Corpus Christi would mean starting over, financially, but after thinking about it more Eddie realized that this move would put him one step closer to what he had worked so hard for. He took the offer, and thus, the Roaming Ronin was born. 


His journey to restoring the vacant building began in October 2021 and was ready to open to the public in July 2022. During that time, Eddie didn’t have a home in Corpus Christi, so he slept on a friend’s floor for about 5 months, while working as a bartender. He would work from 9:00 p.m. – 4:00 a.m., sleep for a few hours, head to work on carpentry for his future restaurant, then back to bartending at night. He painted every wall, built the bar surrounding the sushi making spot, and more in preparation for the grand opening. 

Now, when you enter the Roaming Ronin, you’re greeted with an Irasshaimase, which means “welcome” in Japanese, before enjoying a unique culinary experience in a welcoming environment led by a chef who worked tirelessly to rebuild his career.  

Not only is the concept of the Roaming Ronin unique, but Eddie also personalized the menu.  

He explains that “In school, there was a lesson on menu making and one of the key points I chipped away from that is making a menu that connects to you.”  

The result was a menu inspired by the food he ate during his travels through Asia while serving in the military with a touch of South Texas flavors. Eddie’s menu is a scrapbook of his life, and each dish tells a story of his cultural influences.    


Yet, the Roaming Ronin is more than just a restaurant offering a unique culinary experience—it's a testament to Eddie's belief in the power of mentorship and community. If his kitchen staff isn’t equipped with the skills to cook the dishes on his menu, he doesn’t give up on them; he teaches them the skills he learned and helps them become incredible cooks. Eddie’s guiding philosophy emphasizes courage, resilience, and the willingness to learn—a reflection of his own journey of self-discovery and perseverance. 

As the Roaming Ronin continues to thrive, Eddie remains committed to his vision of creating a welcoming space, and offers sage advice to aspiring chefs:  

“You have to have the courage to put yourself out there because you never know what will happen. If you really believe in your product or in yourself, develop the skills you need, and believe in yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, because there are many great people in the culinary industry willing to help.” 

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