James O'Hara

Associate Instructor,  College of Culinary Arts

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Johnson & Wales University… an exceptional education that inspires professional success and lifelong personal and intellectual growth.“


I started working in restaurants at the age of 16.  After graduating from Kent State University and working in the restaurants for 8 years, I decided to pursue my passion of cooking by attending Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, Florida. Upon graduation I combined my degree in Communications with my new Associates degree in Culinary Arts. I accepted the role of Culinary Demonstrator at the Miami campus. I spent a year traveling the state of Florida and attending conferences across the country executing cooking demonstrations and promoting the university. After a year of demonstrations and traveling, I began my adventure in the private cooking sector. I became the executive chef of a privately owned yacht and traveled the globe.

After four years of cooking privately on the sea, I moved to Chicago, IL and started my own private chef business on land. I cooked four more years in the private sector until my passion to teach and rejoin Johnson & Wales took me to the new Charlotte campus. I have been teaching at the Charlotte campus for 10 years. During this time I continue to cook privately and cater multiple events a year.