Born in China and raised in London, Roka Akor Chicago-based Corporate Chef Ce Bian is no stranger to the kitchen. Spending much of his youth in his family-owned restaurant, Bian learned the ins and outs of restaurants at a young age. What started as jobs to help pay for his education from the University of Wales eventually turned into his dream career.
Bian’s culinary background is worldly and extensive. His first job was working under Chef John Torode of Smiths of Smithfield in London’s meat market, and he continued to broaden his knowledge of European cuisine in the years that followed. In 2002, Bian met Chef Colin Clague, opening chef of Zuma in London. It was this partnership that paved the way to his love for Japanese cuisine. Bian spent the following eight years in London working with chefs such as Nic Watt and Yoshi Muranaka while opening restaurants for Rainer Becker. Although Bian considered London his second home, he eventually left in 2008 to become a supporting team member for Roka Akor and helped continue to elevate the sushi and robata grill technique.
For those visiting Roka Akor for the first time, Bian suggests ordering the Chef Tasting Menu. “After you try our Chef Tasting Menu once, you’ll know exactly what to order the next time you dine at Roka Akor,” Bian explains. “And you can’t go wrong with the Robata Scallops; that’s my favorite dish on the menu.”