With OTC Restaurants, Jacob Aya, makes a major shift in his career: he leaves the world of fine dining to join an embryonic counter-service fast-casual restaurant with big plans to create a set of restaurants whose goal is to deliver a fun, social atmosphere based on fine food and drink. Open since November, 2012, the first location opened in November, 2012 and is located in Miami's Brickell neighborhood. Raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Chef Aya started on his career path at an early age with guidance from his tive American-Mexican mother and Mexican grandmother in their home kitchen. With their influence Aya developed a strong appreciation for local ingredients, cooking family meals with produce grown in their own garden. His career comprises 18 years of experience honed at top culiry temples across the globe. He began at the San Francisco landmark, Campton Place, where he trained with Michelin-starred Chef Laurent Manrique. To gain wider experience, he then went to Sydney, Australia to work in Wildfire and Bel Mondo. He returned San Francisco to be promoted through three restaurants, after which he left the mainland for the Four Seasons' Pahuia in Ko, Hawaii where he was the Chef de Cuisine for two years. Wanting to return to the mainland, he came to Azul at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami. In 2013, Azul was one of only two restaurants in Florida to receive the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star rating. Chef Aya's cuisine is sophisticated and eclectic, combining New American flavors with Asian and European influences, perhaps labeled "California Cuisine”. His menu features creations that are stunning both visually and in taste, cooking with love, passion and excitement. In OTC's casual dining setting, Aya has created a menu that entices sharing, experimenting and socializing while pairing the food items with wine and OTC's extensive craft beer offering.
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