Chef Guy credits his love of cooking to his grandmother. Raised in a big family, food was always the center focus of their weekly gatherings. He spent a significant amount of time in his grandma’s Moroccan kitchen making food using the freshest herbs and most intense spices.
After finishing his military duties in the Israeli Defense Force, he moved to the United States and started school as a computer engineer major just to quickly realize that it wasn’t the right choice for him. He started working nearly every job in the restaurant industry and that rekindled his love for food. Chef Vaknin then enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education. Upon graduating in 2007, he became the Executive Chef at an established catering company in Manhattan.
In 2012, Chef Guy was selected as a contestant on Hell’s Kitchen Season 10 , a Fox Network show. Following the completion of the show, he and his future wife Tali joined forces to open Beyond Sushi and develop the brand. The pair tied the knot in August 2013. One week before welcoming their first child, they opened a third Beyond Sushi location in Midtown West.
“Having a child created meaning in our lives and gives me a true sense of purpose,” says Chef Vaknin. “My son is the driving force behind all of my hard work and accomplishments. For that I am very thankful.”