Makoto Okuwa

With over twenty five years of experience, Chef Makoto Okuwa has developed his own take on Japanese cuisine, where traditional Edomae-Sushi meets innovative flair. Chef Makoto's introduction to the intricacies of Japanese cooking, especially sushi, began in his hometown of Nagoya, Japan. After ten years of training in Japan, Makoto moved to Washington, DC where he began to work closely with Iron Chef Morimoto and was soon asked to assume the Head Sushi Chef role at Morimoto New York and Morimoto Philadelphia. In 2005, he was recognized by the James Beard Foundation for outstanding contribution.

In 2007, Makoto received a New York Rising Star Chef award by StarChef.com.Following these accolades, he also made several appearances on the Food Network's original “Iron Chef America” alongside his mentor Iron Chef Morimoto. In 2007, Makoto fulfilled a lifelong dream by opening up his own restaurant, Sashi Sushi + Sake Lounge in Manhattan Beach, California. Sashi quickly received top praise from Los Angeles Magazine and the LA Times. In 2009, Makoto was asked to appear on Iron Chef America as a competitor, allowing him to showcase his extraordinary culinary expertise.

At his namesake restaurant in Bal Harbor, Makoto continues to evolve his style of crafting playful, exquisitely presented dishes which pay tribute to the Japanese tradition.

In his menu creations, he continues to draw inspiration from his colleagues, mentors, and Bal Harbor's well-traveled, sophisticated clientele, in addition to the restaurant's beautiful ambiance.

Makoto has continued his success with the wildly popular Makoto and Yokocho Japanese Whiskey Bar in Panama, Makoto Polanco in Mexico City, and Makoto Jardim in São Paulo, Brazil with his newest opening of fast casual restaurant edobox gaining praise from Food & Wine Magazine as one of the most anticipated openings in the country in 2020. 2022 will see the opening of Love, in the Japanese Food Hall Capital Crossing development in Washington DC.