Chef Jason Acoba, executive chef of Tanuki, a pan-Asian restaurant in Miami Beach, brings 17 years of experience to the team. Born in the Philippines and raised on the island of Hawaii, Acoba has always had an affinity for cooking and began his journey as a chef by enrolling in the Culinary Institute of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Following his time in Honolulu, Acoba moved to Portland, Oregon where he continued his education at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. After graduating, Acoba quickly made his way into fine-dining kitchens, beginning at esteemed chef Masaharu Morimoto’s flagship restaurant, Morimoto, where he worked for six years, both in Philadelphia and Miami.
Since his term at Morimoto, Acoba has worked at various esteemed Asian restaurants in Miami, including Makoto Bal Harbour, where he worked as a sous chef, and most recently, Katsuya South Beach. From 2016 to 2020, Acoba served as executive chef of the South Beach restaurant where he worked closely with their team on menu development, hiring and special events. Currently, Acoba leads the kitchen and team at Tanuki in Miami Beach, which recently celebrated their four-year anniversary.
While highly experienced in the kitchen, Acoba enjoys experimenting and perfecting his culinary skills. “The time, process, technique and care to create quality sushi is no easy task,” he says. “When I was asked to join Tanuki, I was happy to join a team where I would be allowed to passionately cook what I love and feel strongly about, while also being given the freedom to explore and try new things in order to make all of the Tanuki dishes the best that they can be.”
When he isn’t running the kitchen at Tanuki, Acoba can be found watching sports, reading or fishing.