Rising Star Chef Harold Jurado - Biography

September 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, and eventually opening Japonais in New York and 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 staged at Trotter’s eponymous Chicago restaurant and earned the opportunity to join Trotter’s opening team back in Vegas. He maintained this momentum with a return to Chicago and work at Sunda.

Increasingly eager to fill the city’s Japanese cuisine void, Jurado opened the trendsetting Chizakaya. The restaurant received local acclaim but shuttered after two years. He then found a new home for his modern-eclectic-comfort food at Matthias Merges’s Yusho, where he won a 2015 StarChefs Rising Stars Award. Jurado recently made a jump to the West Coast, and wherever he lands, he’ll, no doubt, make his mom proud.