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Juan Paulo Garcia


A Microsoft Certified Professional turned dynamic chef. JP started his culinary career at The Arts Institute of Michigan where he developed his fundamental culinary skills. While attending school he started to work in one of the well-known Japanese restaurants in the area, Izakaya Sanpei which honed his ability to prepare meticulous Japanese cuisine specializing in sushi. He also worked at Eddie Merlot’s, a premier American steakhouse that serves prime-aged steaks and seafood. JP was able to juggle two restaurant jobs and being a teacher's assistant for Chef Instructor David Koshizawa at the Great Lakes Bistro while in school, and upon graduation he was on the presidential honor roll and garnered a recognition from American Honor Society. With his evolving culinary talent and skills, he was able to launch his career as Sous Chef for Chef Takashi Yagihashi’s Slurping Turtle in Ann Arbor. After his stint from Slurping Turtle, he went on to lead the kitchens of Nippon Sushi, Maru Sushi and Urban Ramen Detroit. He brought his creative ideas and opened his own concept ISLA in 2018 at Fort Street Galley food hall in downtown Detroit. ISLA opened a brick-and-mortar location at Sterling Heights in 2021.