Rising Star Chef Harold Jurado of Yusho - Biography

Chicago, IL

May 2015

Culinary careers have a good start in Chicago. They have an even better start if you have a mother like Harold Jurado’s. Chef of a family-owned Filipino restaurant in the suburbs, Jurado’s mother exhibited the kind of passion it takes to cook great food and the discipline necessary to streamline kitchen chaos. Jurado eventually earned his culinary degree from Kendall College, but his earliest teacher was his mother.

Jurado started at Japonais, moving his way up from intern to sous chef. He was then sent to New York to open Japonais in Union Square, and later, Japonais in Las Vegas. While there, Jurado heard of Chef Charlie Trotter’s plans for the new wing of the Venetian Casino and Hotel. Rolling the dice, Jurado flew back to Chicago to stage at Charlie Trotter’s and earned the opportunity to join Trotter’s opening team back in Vegas.

Jurado maintained this momentum with a return to Chicago under Chef Rodelio Aglibot, opening Sunda. Increasingly eager to fill the Japanese cuisine void in Chicago, Jurado then opened the trendsetting Chizakaya. An executive chef position at Jellyfish and work at Nico Osteria came next, but Jurado found a home in Matthias Merges’s Yusho. There, he continues to fill the void for Japanese cuisine in a creative, disciplined, Yakitori-inspired kitchen that would no doubt make his mom proud. 

Jurado started his culinary career at Japonais in Chicago, where he moved his way up from intern to sous chef. He then moved to New York to open the Japonais in Union Square and continued to the restaurant’s newest location in Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Jurado caught wind that Chef Charlie Trotter planned to redefine the cuisine in the new wing of the Venetian Casino and Hotel. Rolling the dice, Jurado flew back to Chicago to stage at Charlie Trotter’s and earned the opportunity to work at Trotter’s dining institution and join the opening team back in Vegas. With his career constantly on the move, Jurado decided to bring his experiences full circle, bringing it all back to Chicago and working under Chef Rodelio Aglibot to help open Sunda.

To fill the void of great Japanese comfort food in Chicago, Jurado pounced on the opportunity to open his own restaurant serving izakaya cuisine. After travels to Japan, Chizakaya (Chicago + Izakaya) was born. Chizakaya is the Asian delegation among Chicago’s hot (and prestigious) congress of gastropubs, and its Chicago-inspired Japanese pub fare is 100 percent Jurado.