All the buzz this week in the Toronto food scene surrounds the newest, and another first for Canada, opening of Celebrity Chef Akira Back’s namesake restaurant at the new Bisha Hotel in the downtown entertainment district. Not just another world-famous chef with a roster of restaurants under his watchful eye, but one that recently was awarded a Michelin Star to his name.
Born in Korea and raised in Aspen, Colorado, Chef Akira Back brings a sense of adventure and creativity to his dishes. No surprise as he was on the pro-snowboarding circuit for seven years before studying at the International Culinary School at The Art Institute in Colorado. He then began working at Kenichi in Aspen and moved up the ranks to Kenichi in Austin, Texas and then in Kona, Hawaii. He also studied under top celebrity chefs including Masaharu Morimoto. It was during this time that he learned the value of using rare and exotic ingredients. Then in 2003, he returned to Aspen as Executive Chef of Nobu.
Fast forward to today and he now has several establishments of his own including Executive Chef and Partner of Kumi Japanese Restaurant + Bar and Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge in Las Vegas, namesake restaurants in New Delhi and Jakarta with additional locations opening in Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok. He most recently was awarded the Michelin Star for his restaurant DOSA in Seoul Korea.
He’s also a familiar face on the television circuit. He’s appeared on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and Best Thing I Ever Ate, NBC’s The Today Show, The Cooking Channel’s United Tastes of America, as well as KBS’ Success Mentor that airs in Korea.
And that sense of creativity and adventure? It’s not just press release “talk.” Have a chat with Chef Back and you’ll understand his approach to life and work. That sense of “work hard, play hard” is apparent. While he is meticulous in ensuring everything is the way he wants it to be, he still tells us he loves to have fun…and yes, he still snowboards.
We asked him how he would describe his food. His response… “sexy”
Akira Back Toronto officially opens December 7, 2017 at Bisha Hotel.
Here’s a sneak peek: