The Mandarin Oriental, Miami, is very close to my heart, as I had my first date with my ex there four years ago, this month. Lima, Peru seems to be quite trendy nowadays too. You are probably wondering the correlation?? Here is the news: The Mandarin has just announced its new restaurant and the Chef is Peruvian. Meet Executive Chef Diego Oka at La Mar by Gaston Acurio.
The acclaimed Chef 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 ceviche. He has a resume that is worth writing home about, as the rising star has earned widespread acclaim with a culinary career that spans North and South America. Most recently, Chef Oka worked at La Mar Cebicheria in the culinary mecca of San Francisco. 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,” said 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,” said Oka. “I am extremely excited to share the flavors and culture of Peru with this vibrant and dynamic city.”