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Executive Chef

Chef Makoto Okuwa

Over a career spanning more than 20 years, chef Makoto Okuwa has developed his own take on Japanese cuisine, marrying traditional Edomae-Sushi with modern-day innovation.

Makoto’s introduction to cooking took place in his hometown of Nagoya, Japan. At 15, he began an apprenticeship with master sushi chef Shinichi Takegasa. After a decade of training, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he began working closely with chef Masaharu Morimoto; he would eventually assume the head sushi chef role at Morimoto’s flagship Philadelphia restaurant, as well as his outpost in New York. In 2007, Makoto fulfilled a lifelong dream by opening up his own restaurant, Sashi Sushi + Sake Lounge, in Manhattan Beach, California, receiving top praise from Los Angeles Magazine and the Los Angeles Times.

After successfully opening more acclaimed restaurants in Miami, Washington D.C., Panama City, Mexico City and São Paulo, Makoto has now opened his first location in Colorado at Makoto Vail. Makoto has taken his inspirational approach on Japanese cuisine and blended it wonderfully with the influence of the surrounding Rocky Mountains, offering a unique flavor experience in the heart of Vail’s premier ski-in-ski-out resort hotel, Grand Hyatt Vail.