At the Table newsletter: Celebrity chef, snowboarder opens Delray restaurant – Palm Beach Post

Celebrity chef, snowboarder opens Delray restaurant

Today is opening day for Delray Beach’s newest restaurant, one that’s inspired by its celebrity chef’s global travels as a pro snowboarder. Michelin-starred chef Akira Back is in town to debut his namesake restaurant at The Ray boutique hotel in Delray’s Pineapple Grove district. 

Akira Back, the restaurant, leans modern Japanese though the menu reflects a mix of inspirations. That translates to creative sushi rolls like the Pop Rockin’ roll (spicy crab, asparagus, cucumber, watermelon pop rocks), chilled tartares and seafood carpaccios, Korean-accented tacos and a large selection of sashimi bites.

There are also hot small plates like the sea urchin and sweet shrimp “Truffle Bomb” with smoked potato foam and caviar, robata-grilled meats, seafood and corn and heftier plates for sharing wagyu tomahawk steak, short ribs, miso black cod and lemongrass-scented snapper. Wagyu lovers may appreciate the menu’s high-grade (A5) Japanese steak preparations. 

And those seeking a little drama, may find that in the chef’s “Signature Mystery Box” (Nazo) for two, which is revealed tableside. 

“This restaurant blends my cultural roots and sophisticated culinary training resulting in an imaginative and unforgettable dining experience,” Back said via news release. 

The Korean-born chef has more than 16 restaurants across the globe. (More on this restaurant soon.)

Akira Back: 233 NE 2nd Ave., Delray Beach, 561-739-1708,; open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m.; reservations via website and

Sample some ‘SoSo’ bites

Curious about that new, “fast-dine” café coming to West Palm’s trendy SoSo neighborhood? You can sample a few dishes from The SoSo’s menu at Palm Beach Meats on Saturday. The gourmet meat market and eatery, which sits next door to the upcoming SoSo, is hosting a pop-up from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

What’s for lunch?

The SoSo Benny (on Cuban bread with smoked ham, mojo onions, smashed avocado, tomatillo hollandaise over poached eggs), The Steak & Blue (fancy steak salad over locally grown mixed greens) and The Chicken Sammy (herbed chicken, piquillo aioli, panko-crusted avocado, lettuce, heirloom tomato, all on a Bread by Johnny sourdough bun). 

The SoSo, located at 4802 S. Dixie Hwy, opens to the public on April 12.


The Wellington Bacon & Bourbon festival returns this weekend and it promises to be a crispy pork extravaganza. “Sounds pretty close to keto perfect,” writes my colleague Eddie Ritz.  

Expect unabashed bites (honey-covered cinnamon bacon with fries or maybe some battered bacon, anyone?), more than 30 types of bourbon and more than a few reasons to wear your stretchy pants.

The free fest takes place at the Wellington Promenade, 12150 Forest Hill Blvd., on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

And in Guy Fieri news…

Food Network superstar Guy Fieri dropped some life lessons during his visit this week to Lake Worth High. He also dropped off a hefty check – a $20,000 donation from his foundation to the school’s beloved Culinary Academy. Fieri, who bought a waterfront vacation home on Lake Worth Beach a year ago, couldn’t have been more inspiring during his visit Tuesday, school principal Dr. Elvis Epps told me. On Wednesday morning, his students floated into school “on cloud nine,” he said.

Sounds like the Mayor of Flavortown is already impressing his neighbors. Good on him!

With that, I wish you a flavorful weekend!

Liz Balmaseda

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