Executive Chef, O-Ku Greenville

Greenville, SC

Participating In: Aged to Perfection & A Night in Shinjuku

Jose Aguilar is the Executive Chef of O-Ku Greenville. Aguilar began working in kitchens at age seventeen, working his way up to kitchen prep cook, then to sushi prep cook, picking up various skills along the way before becoming a sushi chef at Here to Serve Restaurants in Atlanta. He then went on to study under and work alongside renowned Chef Masatomo “Masa” Hamaya at O-Ku’s Atlanta, GA outpost for over five years. There he learned important traditions and principles to transform his craft into a true art form.

At O-Ku Greenville, Aguilar takes a pragmatic approach to his job, following the process of arrive, watch, execute, fail, try again, and then succeed. He believes the only way to learn is by finding value in the lessons that come from experimentation. Working under pressure is a strength of Aguilar’s, always maintaining positivity and transferring that energy to his team. To him, success means working to help others succeed, and developing his team to reach their fullest potential.

When not experimenting with new techniques and preparations at O-Ku, Aguilar enjoys watching and playing soccer, finding the motivational and leadership skills he observes on the field translate seamlessly to the kitchen.