Chef Akira Back
Born in Seoul, Korea and raised in Aspen, Colorado, Akira Back moved to the rocky mountain state at the age of 15-years-old for his father to pursue the family business. Back picked up snowboarding as a hobby which led him to pursue the professional circuit where he appeared in a handful of extreme sports movies and garnered praise from the sports top trade publications. During this time, Back began working at a local Japanese restaurant to supplement his income. After seven years on the pro-snowboarding circuit, Back realized that he felt the same thrill in the kitchen as he did on his board, shaping his decision to pursue a full-time culinary career.
Back attended and completed his cooking education at the International Culinary School at The Art Institute based in Colorado, establishing the framework of his technique and amplifying his knowledge of Asian cooking, allowing him to incorporate his artistic vision and Korean heritage.
His repertoire of restaurants include the famed Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge located inside the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas that has become a dining institution breeding several new concepts. Akira Back’s namesake restaurant, known for its limitless creativity in reshaping modern dining to create a distinguished experience, continues to span across the globe with locations in Dubai, Toronto, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Seoul with new venues on the cusp in London, Paris, Dallas, Houston, Delray Beach, Marrakech and Riyadh expected within the next 2 years. DOSA, chef Back’s award-winning concept was bestowed consecutive Michelin stars for eminence in innovative cuisine and service.
Chef Back’s strategic partnerships have emerged new creations including his new revolutionary restaurant located at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, ABSteak, that is a modern Korean steakhouse with new locations sprouting in San Francisco, Riyadh and Doha. His most distinctive concept, ABar, located in Singapore and Bangkok and opening soon in London features an artistic cocktail program with a contemporary approach to the classics and avant-guard masterpieces.
Continuing to add to his extensive portfolio, Chef Back has partnered with United Emirates theatre group, VOX Cinemas, to lead the VIP dining experience of the Middle East’s largest and most rapidly growing exhibitor. At North Island, Seychelles, a private luxury resort, Chef Back has taken the helm of wielding the island’s culinary experience overseeing all dining aspects.
Throughout his illustrious career, Chef Akira Back has been awarded the title of “Rising Star” by Restaurant Hospitality (2008) and has had the distinct honor of being invited back at prestigious James Beard House dinners (2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012, 2013 & 2014). Since opening Yellowtail Restaurant & Lounge in 2008, Chef Back has been named “Best Chef in Las Vegas” by Las Vegas Weekly. Chef Back has also participated in some of the culinary world’s most prestigious events, including Aspen Food & Wine Festival, Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival and Bon Appetit’s Vegas Uncork’d amongst others.
In addition to these top accolades, Chef Akira Back has had extensive broadcast experience, appearing on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”. Chef Back has also been seen on NBC’s “The Today Show,” Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate,” The Cooking Channel’s “United Tastes of America,” as well as KBS’ “Success Mentor” which airs in Korea.