Yoshi Okai

Yoshi Okai was born and raised in Kyoto, Japan, where he was introduced to the culinary world at a young age through his family’s catering company. In 1998, Okai landed in Austin after leaving landscaping school to dedicate time and energy to his band, The Kodiaks, which was gaining popularity in the area. Okai served as head sushi chef for six years at Uchi. In 2015, Yoshi joined New Waterloo as head chef of Otoko, the 12-seat Japanese restaurant at South Congress Hotel. Named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs in 2017, Okai is known for his rock n’ roll style, infectious smile, and big personality. Okai is currently working on Hai Si, a Japanese izakaya concept, with New Waterloo and Infinite Hospitality located at 308 E. Hopkins Avenue in Aspen, Colorado. Hai Si is slated to open in mid-2024.