10 Thoughts

  1. One thing you don't know about me is that on my days off from work, I like to stay at home and do nothing but relax. People refer me as Chef Couch Potato.

  2. If I could trade places with one chef it would be Chef Beau MacMillan. I admire his laid-back, positive attitude toward life and cooking. He's a good friend of mine and I hope I can achieve the same success as he has.

  3. One of my most memorable meals was at my parents' home in Denver. I grew up eating my mother's Korean dishes that she prepared with a twist. It's always great to have her cook for me when I go back home.

  4. If there were no pork belly with kimchee, I'd have no reason to live.

  5. My go-to drink is any good quality chardonnay.

  6. If I were on death row my last meal would be an arrangement of Spanish tapas including pulpo de gallego (octopus with potatoes), boquerones (white vinegar anchovies) and navajas (razor clams). My last trip to Spain was an incredible culinary experience that I will never forget and these items are embedded in my food memory forever.

  7. My worst culinary creation was cake decorating. I thought I knew about sugar-making, but I was wrong!

  8. If I could change one thing about me I'd have more style and dress better. I'm so used to my comfortable casual wear.

  9. My favorite junk food is frozen pizza and chicken taquitos. I always tell my wife to stock them in the freezer.

  10. If I weren't a restaurant operator, I'd love to be retired and living in Hawaii or Aspen.

Akira Back is a chef/partner at Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Restaurant Hospitality named him a Rising Star in 2008.