EXECUTIVE CHEF / CO-OWNER CHRIS CHUNG was born in Honolulu, but grew up in Macao, a former Portugese colony where food was often a combination of influences from east and west, and Chung became intrigued by it at a very early age. A family dinner at one of Joel Robuchon’s high end hotel restaurants there was transformative; at the age of eight, Chung vowed to make haute cuisine his career. The family returned to Hawaii, where Chung was educated, but he spent his summers in various Japanese restaurant kitchens onOahu, learning how to perform every position, from server on up. A meeting with James Beard Award-winning chef Kenneth Oringer in 2004 led to UNI, an intimate sashimi bar adjacent to Oringer’s CLIO in Boston, where Chung served as chef. Chung lived and worked in Los Angeles for a few years, but returned to UNI in 2009 and was named a Rising Star Chef that same year. In 2010, Chung left UNI to open AKA in suburban Lincoln, MA with his business partner Christian Touche.
GENERAL MANAGER / CO-OWNER CHRISTIAN TOUCHE also chose the restaurant industry as his profession at the age of eight, and began apprenticing at hotels in Gigondas and Avignon, France by age 14. Touche studied at, and received degrees in finance and hotel/restaurant management from, the Ecole Hoteliere in Lausanne, Switzerland. After working in Europe for several years, Touche moved to Boston, where he joined the team being assembled for the grand opening of chef Kenneth Oringer’s CLIO in 1997. It became an international success, with Touche steadfast at the helm of the dining room for 12 years. Upon meeting Chris Chung, Touche recognized a kindred spirit, and the two collaborated to create AKA Bistro in 2010.