Faces Of The Industry: John McCarthy

In the second episode of the podcast this year, we sat down with John McCarthy to learn about izakaya culture. John is the chef and owner of OKA, as well as a certified sake sommelier.

This former lawyer gave up a legal career and entered the French Culinary Institute, FCI. After graduating from FCI at the top of his class, he worked for Chef Wylie Dufresne at wd-50 for several years, ultimately becoming Chef Wylie’s research and development cook. He then opened The Crimson Sparrow in Hudson, New York, and later, OKA in Murray Hill.

 John McCarthy. Photo credit: Kuo-Heng Huang

John McCarthy. Photo credit: Kuo-Heng Huang

Neighborhood of residence:
Chelsea.

Favorite restaurant in your hood:
Ushiwakamaru.

Favorite spot to grab a drink:
Uminoie.

Most recent/recommended dining out experience:
En Japanese Brasserie.

What's your favorite dish to cook?
Any dashi or stock for noodles.

What Asian food staple/trend do you want to see more of?
Kushiage/kushikatsu.

What would be your last meal on Earth?
A sushi omakase.

Favorite izakaya in Japan:
Any and all.

What Japanese beverage are you currently most excited about?
Nikka Coffey Grain Whiskey.