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Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, Malaysia

  • Jalan Tanjung Rhu, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah Darul Aman, Malaysia
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Billy Akunna

Executive Chef

"I enjoy cooking not just for the love of it, but for the love I get in return."

Four Seasons Tenure

  • Current position: Since 2006
  • First Four Seasons Assignment: Four Seasons Hotel Houston

Employment History

  • Four Seasons Hotel Houston; Four Seasons Hotel Newport Beach (formerly a Four Seasons hotel); Four Season Resort Hualalai; Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet; Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma (formerly a Four Seasons Resort

Birthplace

  • Lagos, Nigeria

Education

  • Houston Community College

Languages Spoken

  • English

Born in Africa and raised in New Orleans, USA, passionate, self-taught Executive Chef Billy Akunna began his culinary journey almost 30 years ago, and steadily rose through the ranks to become the creative drive and culinary master of Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, overseeing the culinary directions of the Resort’s three distinctive restaurants and bars and a kitchen team of 50.

Akunna’s fascination with the industry was first sparked during his college days, when he worked part-time in a family restaurant in Houston. He soon realised that his keen culinary interest, coupled with his natural flair for cooking, was something he wanted to pursue professionally, and he set out on his journey with determination and passion. His early role as a line cook in restaurant kitchens allowed him to specialise in particular areas of production as he continued to nurture his skills.

Mainly trained in Western-style cooking, Akunna was eager to continue to expand his culinary repertoire. In 2001, he left the US for Istanbul, Turkey, where he immersed himself in Ottoman culinary heritage – a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and European cuisines.

With a wealth of experience in the intricacies of world cuisines sharpened by years of precise training, Akunna returned to the Americas to helm the kitchen as Executive Chef of Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma, Bahamas. As Executive Chef, Akunna mastered yet another skill – overseeing the business aspects of the job – as he took charge of purchasing, menu costing and labour-control matters.

In his illustrious and exciting career, Akunna has had the pleasure to cook for former presidents and mayors and a host of celebrities and sportspeople, and was chosen to cook with a team at the esteemed James Beard Foundation charity gala dinner in New York. Food Network celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse even recreated one of Akunna’s dishes on TV after tasting his food at a Four Seasons resort. Light and innovative, Akunna's cuisine is a seamless harmony of classic and contemporary, creatively marrying culinary sensibilities from East and West. His artistry is evident in the many signature dishes he has created, firm favourites of guests who return over and over to savour them.

A true leader, Akunna constantly trains, motivates and inspires his team to greater culinary heights. Through consistent standards of excellence, Akunna hopes to continuously provide extraordinary dining experiences in the true hallmark of Four Seasons chefs – with exquisite cuisine that incorporates quality, variety and vibrancy.

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