La Mar San Francisco chef Diego Oka has been named the executive chef of
T’anta Chicago. Not so fast. With the closing of La Mar NYC (don’t worry, it is hopefully just moving) there has been a shift in the Acurio restaurant chain. Oka helped set up T’anta Chicago, which opened this month at 118 West Grand Avenue in the River North and is now headed by Jesus Delgado from La Mar Lima and La Mar San Francisco. Now comes word that Oka has been named chef of La Mar Miami, which was announced today will be inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Brickell Key.
Oka, who was recently named the winner of 2013’s “Your City Your Chef” competition in San Francisco by 7×7 Magazine, was born in Lima of Japanese decent. During culinary school at Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola (USIL) in Lima he took an internship at Astrid & Gastón, currently number #14 on the World’s Best restaurant list. After graduating in 2001, he worked his way up the ladder, eventually helping Acurio launch the original La Mar Cebicheria in 2005 and additional branches of the restaurant in Costa Rica, Mexico City, and San Francisco.
T’anta is type of Peruvian bistro with several locations in Lima, as well as Barcelona. The Chicago branch is a collaboration between local partners the VBD Group, LLC. Reservations are currently being accepted through City Eats. La Mar Miami is expected to open in November. According to a recent tweet, Acurio is already excited about the local seafood they have been able to source for the restaurant:
@espilva pesca local de florida. Grouper. Snapper. Amberjack. Pompano. Seabream. Mackerel. Yellow tail tuna y mas. Busqueda diaria como lima
— Gaston Acurio (@gaston_acurio) August 22, 2013
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.