THE CHEF- Chuckee Nguyen

By Chris Kelley

Q. How long have you been cooking?Chef

A. I’ve been working as a cook since college, so it has been about 19 years. For the most part, I have always worked with Japanese food and in Japanese restaurants and have had a lot of experience in that field.

Q. What is your favorite dish to prepare?

A. Always sushi. I enjoy making it because I feel like I am bringing part of the big city to a smaller place like Des Moines. I like to be able to offer a meal that is fresh and is something you might not see outside of a larger market.

Q. What is your favorite food?

A. Honestly, my favorite food is pizza, with hamburgers being up there as well.

Q. What do you like to in your spare time to de-stress from work?

A. I love to go to the gym and work out. Staying in shape is very important to me.

Q. Why should people come to Akebono?

A. It’s a very fun atmosphere here. Akebono is always a good time. There is a strong focus on the customer, and there is always fresh food, particularly sushi. We offer a big city feel that isn’t common in Des Moines.

Q. What is the most important part about cooking sushi?

A. Having a fresh product is very important, especially at Akebono. We ensure fresh fish deliveries several times a week from bigger markets, including Chicago and even Hawaii. It is always important to have a fresh and safe product.

Q. Do you have any cooking tips for customers?

A. A clean work place is the most important — keeping your seafood clean and ensuring that it is fresh and safe to eat is the most valuable advice when it comes to preparation. RELISH

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