Akira Back was a professional snowboarder before he started working in kitchens to make a living. After seven years on the pro circuit, he realized he could find the same thrills in the kitchen as he could on a snowboard. Now the executive chef behind Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant & Lounge at the Bellagio brings his experience from working in kitchens with culinary legends Masaharu Morimoto, Brian Nagao and Nobu Matsuhisa to Vegas. Here he shares 10 things you never knew about him.
1. One thing you don't know about me is that on my days off, I like to stay home and do nothing but relax. My friends often refer to me as "Chef Couch Potato."
2. When I'm not working at Yellowtail, my favorite activities are snowboarding and fishing.
3. If there wasn't pork belly with kimchee, I'd have no reason to live.
4. Every fall, I travel to Korea, Japan and Aspen — the three greatest places on Earth.
5. My favorite TV shows are True Blood and Dexter.
6. I sharpen my knives every day and always keep one underneath my bed when I sleep.
7. If I could change one thing about myself, it would be to dress better. I'm so used to my comfortable, casual wear.
8. I used to be a professional snowboarder.
9. I love frozen pizza and chicken taquitos with Sriracha.
10. I'd love to retire in either Hawaii or Aspen.
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