James O’Hara

Associate Instructor,  College of Food Innovation & Technology

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James O’Hara started working in restaurants at the age of 16. After graduating from Kent State University and working in the restaurants for eight years, he decided to pursue his passion of cooking by attending Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, Florida.

Upon graduation, he combined his degree in Communications with my his new associate degree in Culinary Arts. O’Hara accepted the role of culinary demonstrator at the North Miami Campus. He 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, he began his adventure in the private cooking sector, becoming the executive chef of a privately owned yacht and traveling the globe.

After four years of cooking privately on the sea, O’Hara moved to Chicago, Illinois, and started his own private chef business on land. He cooked four more years in the private sector until his passion to teach and rejoin Johnson & Wales took him to the new Charlotte Campus. He has been teaching there for 10 years. During this time, he continues to cook privately and cater multiple events a year.