Akasha Richmond

Chef

Akasha Richmond has two great loves: food and travel. Her namesake restaurant, AKASHA, draws inspiration from her trips through North Africa, Australia, Italy, India, Mexico–wherever her stomach takes her. The acclaimed Los Angeles-based chef has been doing ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’ long before it became part of LA’s culinary zeitgeist. Since opening her restaurant in 2008, Akasha has been Included in LA Weekly’s ’99 Essential LA Restaurants’, featured in Food & Wine, and appeared on Food Network and Access Hollywood. She’s a favorite of LA’s glitterati set, and the former personal chef to celebrities including Barbara Streisand and Michael Jackson. Her cookbook Hollywood Dish has over 150 healthy recipes designed to bring her A-list recipes to the rest of us.

Akasha’s name means “intangible spirit” and she has literally sourced ingredients and flavors from all over the world. When she’s not experimenting in the kitchen, you can find Akasha planning her next travel adventure, always with food in mind.

Why We Love Akasha Richmond

Akasha is a traveler at heart. From the Himalayas to the jungles of Mexico, she transforms the flavors and ingredients into incredible dishes that ignite the tastebuds and the senses.

“Whenever I travel and I’m alone, I get up around 6am, and I go out to the local market just to really see the city when it’s waking up.”

“I love to let people do what they do best. It’s all about giving people the tools to let them create.”

6 Questions with Akasha Richmond

  1. You were the personal chef for Michael Jackson. Do you have a favorite memory from that time?

    Thanksgiving all over the world was really fun. One year, we cooked Thanksgiving in Perth, Australia, for 200 people. The whole band and all the crew came to the kitchen, and everybody made their favorite dish and helped me cook. They didn't have turkey, so we roasted an emu.

  2. Your menu at AKASHA celebrates global cuisine, with strong local and sustainable influences. How does that work in practice?

    One of our best sellers is tandoori chicken wings. I had taken a trip to Nashville for a wedding and we had all these great chicken wings. So I came back and I said I really want to do something different. I don't want to do just blue cheese and hot sauce. Since I had studied a lot of Indian cooking, I came up with a 20-spice marinade. We smoke them, cool them, fry them to order and serve them with two kinds of chutney.

  3. What's one reaction you want someone to have when they take their first bite of something in your restaurant?

    I want them to really taste the freshness and the flavor because we buy a lot of vegetables from local farmers. You can really taste the difference in our tomatoes, carrots and even the lettuce.

  4. On a trip to anywhere, what are the ingredients to a great itinerary?

    Great hotels, great food, friendly people and markets. Lots of markets.

  5. What gets you excited to visit a less traveled place like Morocco?

    Part of what fascinates me and gets me excited is getting quite a bit out of my comfort zone with all the busyness, the smells, the sights and the colors.

  6. When you’re not in a kitchen, what’s your happy place?

    Travel. Traveling to anywhere.

Explore Upcoming Trips with our Tastemakers

Italian Alps: Dolomites Hiking

This is Italy like you've never experienced: a trek through the jaw-dropping Italian Dolomites, with stays in luxury mountain lodges, Michelin-star meals, and immersive cultural experiences like local farm tours and cooking classes.

Portugal with Chris McDade & Natalie Grindstaff

Dreaming of Portugal this summer? Go deep with Chef Chris McDade and sommelier Natalie Grindstaff: azulejo tiles, Fado music, sparkling wines and rich Barolos. Explore taverns and markets, vineyards and farms, and sail through the world’s most gorgeous wine country.

Yucatán with Rico Torres & Diego Galicia

Our Yucatán means ancient pyramids, jungle wildlife, meetups with local artists, cenote swims and historic haciendas and, of course, unforgettable flavors. Dive in on this six-day cultural and culinary journey with chefs Diego Galicia and Rico Torres. This is no mere vacation in Mexico⁠. It’s an unforgettable adventure in one of the world’s most delicious destinations, alongside two of the most inspiring humans we know.