Chef Diego Oka has been named executive chef at La Mar by Gaston Acurio, Mandarin Oriental, Miami’s new restaurant concept launching at the end of the year. Oka’s new menu will celebrate the authentic and diverse flavors of Peruvian gastronomy, ranging from upscale novo-Andean fare to Asian-Peruvian fusion and traditional seafood cebiche.
The rising star chef has earned widespread acclaim with a culinary career that spans North and South America. Most recently, Oka worked at La Mar Cebicheria in the culinary mecca of San Francisco, where he was named the winner of 7x7 Magazine’s “Your City Your Chef” 2013 competition. Throughout his 13 years working alongside celebrity chef Gaston Acurio, Oka has also worked at La Mar locations in Peru and Colombia, among other countries.
“Diego Oka is an incredibly talented chef, who has been a vital member of our team and a devoted contributor to the success of La Mar restaurants,” says Gaston Acurio. “Given his achievements in the international culinary scene, chef Oka’s eclectic menu is sure to captivate the palates of local residents, visitors and food enthusiasts alike shaping Miami’s burgeoning gastronomic landscape.”
Blending personal experiences and his Japanese roots into his cuisine, Oka draws on influences ranging from his grandmother’s cooking in Peru to the food he discovered while living in Mexico and Colombia.
“Miami’s appetite for international cuisine and abundance of fresh ingredients drive me in the process of creating a vibrant new menu for La Mar,” says Oka. “I am extremely excited to share the flavors and culture of Peru with this vibrant and dynamic city.”
A native of Peru, Oka received his degree in Culinary Studies from the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola in Lima.