Local Hero: Akira Hirose

Akira Hirose

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." - Sir Winston Churchill

Chef Akira Hirose's generosity goes beyond his contributions to the culinary world as owner of Maison Akira, his Pasadena-based restaurant that has served French cuisine with a Japanese flair since 1998. He has shared his culinary passion with the causes and people who help define the Asian Pacific American community one meal at a time.

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Hirose had the honor of preparing a special luncheon for the Emperor and Empress of Japan plus 100 guests while working at the world-renowned Tower Restaurant, formerly located at the top of the previous Transamerica Building in downtown Los Angeles, in 1994. He is a board member of the Club Culinaire Francaise of Southern California, and has volunteered his culinary talents to a variety of causes, including the California Hospital L'Grande Affaire Dinner, the Club Culinaire's Annual Picnic Committee, Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M) Charity Concert Dinner, City Club on Bunker Hill Benefit Dinner for Augies Quest Cure for ALS, the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center and Club Corps Employee Partner Care Foundation.

Maison Akira's presence in the community has also been demonstrated in such venues as the APA nonprofit organization Project by Project, Little Tokyo Service Center's Tofu Festival and Sake Event, the Japanese American Cultural Community Center, the Asian American Symphony and the Japanese American National Museum. In addition, schools and charitable organization have benefited from Hirose's generosity as he has donated gift certificates for silent auctions.

Hirose has received accolades from the community her serves, including being named the Club Culinaire Francaise of Southern California's: Chef of the Year 1998 and recipient of the Little Tokyo Center Community Award that same year. Maison Akira has received the Zagat's Excellent Rating from 2004 to 2008 and has received raved reviews from local publications.

Hirose was born and raised in Kyoto, Japan. He trained in France for 8 years, where he worked under world-renowned chef Joel Robuchon.

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