Tim Cushman

Chef Tim Cushman has been cooking and consulting for over 30 years. Currently, Tim is Chef & Co-Proprietor of O Ya in Boston and in New York City, Roof at Park South in New York City and the newly opened Hojoko Japanese Tavern in Boston and Covina in New York City. But his artistic journey began with music and then transitioned to food. Tim earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz and Classical Guitar from Berklee College of Music in 1980. Upon graduation, he left Boston to pursue a musical career in Los Angeles, where he lived for seven years. While working music gigs, he also began working in kitchens. The correlation of music and food is consistent in Chef Tim’s career. In the early 80’s, Tim was part of the pioneering food movement in California, working with talented chefs like Michael Roberts of Trumps and Roy Yamaguchi of 385 North. In 1987, Tim continued to gain invaluable experience by moving to Chicago and taking a position as Corporate Chef for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. For seven years, he worked directly with mentor and restaurant legend, President and CEO, Rich Melman, to create menus for new concepts and reinvent existing menus for concepts, including Maggiano’s, Shaw’s Crabhouse, Ed Debevic’s in the U.S. and Japan, Ambria, Cafe Baba Reeba and others. Tim’s first trip to Japan was in 1988 when he helped open a Lettuce Entertain You concept in Osaka. He staged at several restaurants in Japan where his knowledge and appreciation for Japanese cuisine took further root. In 1989, he returned to the U.S. to help create Hat Dance, a modern Mexican restaurant. At Hat Dance, Tim created the first hybrid sashimi bar blending the aesthetics and flavors of Japan with the flavors of Mexico, Peru and Korea. This became the prototype for what was to eventually become O Ya. In 1994, Tim launched a restaurant consulting business, Ideas in Taste, which he still owns. As the consulting chef, he developed menus, trained chefs and wait staff, helped manage restaurant openings and provided guidance on conceptual and kitchen design at restaurants around the United States, Europe, and Asia. Today, Tim spends his time mentoring the creative process at all of his concepts, but still takes the time to practice playing music. He believes in the correlation between food and music and develops dishes with great harmonies.