How Sushi Chefs Think

I watched a TV program on NHK, which was featuring three aspiring young sushi chefs in Tokyo. Shinji Kanesaka of Sushi Kanesaka, Harutaka Takahashi of Harutaka, and Takaaki Sugita of Miyako Sushi talked about their philosophies and techniques on sushi preparation. They were all in their late thirties and had opened their own restaurants after 10 to 15 years of apprenticeship. Kanesaka has already received two stars from Michelin Guide and Takahashi, who had trained at the renowned Sukiyabashi Jiro, owns one star. All three sushi chefs said the rice was very important for sushi rather than how they prepared the pieces of fish. That wasn’t what I had expected. They really cared about their ways on how they cooked the rice, including soaking time and cooking methods. Furthermore, what was interesting to me was how they had practiced their sushi techniques. They used a rolled kitchen rag to practice shaping sushi after work. Sugita said that he used a mirror to see how he made sushi during his days of training. Kanesaka responded to that, saying he currently uses video for his apprentices. I really enjoyed the conversations of the chefs who carry the future of sushi on their shoulders. I learned a lot through it. .

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