Chef / Owner Akasha Richmond
Akasha Richmond settled into the life of a chef quite by accident, and has flourished in this role to become one of Los Angeles’s celebrated culinary names. After moving to LA however many years ago to further her studies in yoga, Akasha, a self-taught chef and baker, began to work at the yogi-owned Golden Temple, a celebrated vegetarian restaurant popular in the 1990s amongst Hollywood’s health-conscious elite. She decided to pursue cooking full-time, and through her work at the restaurant befriended cultural icons such as Michael Jackson, who launched her career as a personal chef, during which she also worked with Barbara Streisand and Billy Bob Thornton. Her experiences and recipes from her time with these celebrities culminated in the publishing of her first cookbook, Hollywood Dish, in 2006.
Richmond has been to Italy many times, and annually leads small group tours to some of her favorite regions, especially Sicily and Emilia Romagna. Her love of Italian cooking began when her ex mother-in-law used to visit from Sardinia, and cook for the family every night. She loves traveling to Italy to spend time doing things like milking sheep and making cheese, picking olives or fruit, and visiting artisan food makers, cheese makers, wineries and olive oil farms. She especially loves cooking with chefs, home cooks and their grandmothers.
Richmond has established herself as a celebrated culinary talent and opened her first concept AKASHA in 2008. She places emphasis on the importance of eating local foods utilizing health conscious cooking methods, sustainable practices and dedication to authentic ingredients and products that are sustainable and organic. A longstanding affinity for cuisines from around globe, Richmond has traveled the world taking inspiration back to her kitchen from Italy, Southeast Asia, Bali, Australia, as well as Eastern and Western Europe. The author of Hollywood Dish: More than 150 delicious, healthy recipes from Hollywood's chef to the stars (Avery, 2006) she has been featured in Food & Wine and has acted as a guest editor for Vegetarian Times. She lends her time and expertise to groups such as Share Our Strength, Environmental Media Association, Pediatric Aids, and more. She has appeared on The Food Network (The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Top 5 Restaurants), Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, Planet Green, and nationwide news programs.