• Roka Akor, “Top 10 Sushi Spots in the U.S.” – Bon Appetit
  • Chicago Magazine’s “Hot List” – Six Consecutive Months
  • Rokaakor, “MICHELIN Guide Recommended”  – Chicago 2013
  • Roka Akor, “Award of Excellence” – Wine Spectator
  • Top New Comer – Zagat
  • Roka Akor, “Best Sushi Restaurant in the U.S.” – Travel and Leasure Magazine

German Sega of Roka Akor on Working with Peter Kasperski and How He Defines a "Foodie"

German Sega
Roka Akor
7299 North Scottsdale Road
www.rokaakor.com

This is part one of our interview with German Sega, the newly appointed executive chef of Roka Akor in Scottsdale. Today, he dishes about the long road from culinary school to the restaurant’s charcoal robata grill, with pit stops along the way at Old Town’s Kazbar and Nobuo Fukuda’s kitchen at Sea Saw. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow when Sega explains the methodology behind extravagant, multi-course omakase dinners and how he makes fresh Japanese food happen in the middle of the desert.

If you’ve been dining out in the Valley during the past decade or so, you’ve probably eaten someplace where chef German Sega has worked. Since graduating from Scottsdale Culinary Institute in 1993, he’s bounced around some of Phoenix and Scottsdale’s top restaurants, working with notable names including chef Nobuo Fukuda and Gio Osso.

Immediately after graduating from culinary school, Sega says, he just didn’t want to cook — blame it perhaps on the rigor of the 18-month program. So instead he went to work at a wine shop, to pursue his dream of becoming a Master Sommelier and a Master of Wine. He was well on his way when he hit a bump in the form of the Certified Wine Educator exam (there was a misunderstanding about the date of a test) and the mishap caused him to re-evaluate the plan altogether. He ended up setting down a different path.

That path began with his employment at Kazimierz World Wine Bar. He helped open the Old Town Scottsdale bar and worked as a sort of do-it-all employee, getting practice at everything from bartending to serving over the years. As time went by, he became increasingly involved with the wine program, gaining trust with his employer, Peter Kasperski.

“It was a beautiful relationship we had,” he says of his time working with Kasperski. read more…