Max Lai

executive sous chef

Originally from in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Max developed a love for food early on in life. He was inspired to attend culinary school after spending time visiting family in Thailand, Hong Kong, and China. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in 2009, Max shifted his focus from French and Italian cuisine to Asian inspired foods, due to a desire to recreate the foods he ate while visiting family abroad. After working in multiple Japanese restaurants in the Minneapolis area, Max decided he wanted to expand his culinary knowledge and delve outside of the familiar foods he cooked everyday. He moved to Raleigh in 2014 and due to its quickly growing culinary scene and immediately started working for bu•ku as a line cook. He was quickly promoted to Sous Chef and then Executive Sous Chef in 2015.