Precise cuts and rolls

Precise cuts and rolls

Sushi expert

Precise cuts and rolls

Making sushi has become a worldwide phenomenon and chefs all around the world are learning how to perfect the art. The main intention of sushi is that it is enjoyed raw so there isn’t any cooking required for it.

Though many chefs are delivering sushi for their customers, Master Chef Masayoshi Kazato, who is one among the world’s top two sushi masters, says that they don’t realise the complexity of making the dish. 

He was recently at ITC Gardenia to teach chefs across the City to master the art of sushi making. With the second edition of The Indian Federation of Culinary Associations sushi training workshop jointly organised with the Japan External Trade Organisation, it was an opportunity for practicing Indian chefs to learn the art and participate in hands-on training with the expert.

Talking about the main intention of the workshop, Chef Masayoshi says, “Everyone around the world is making sushi but not everyone is doing it right. It has a lot of minor details that many don’t bring to notice even though it tastes delicious at the end. Since it’s the art of making food with raw ingredients, one needs to make sure that  hygiene is maintained. They need to keep everything from the surface to the ingredients  clean at all times.”

He also goes on to say that sushi these days has a lot of variations to it. He exclaims that many don’t know the original recipe. “In Japan, we’re very particular about the way sushi is made. Even the whole process, from catching the fish to bringing it to the market and finally to your kitchen has certain norms that must be followed. These are crucial steps that help make the dish taste good. However, if sushi lovers from around the world come to Japan and have the original one, they might not like it. Each country has added their local twist to it to suit one’s palate,” he adds.

And does this expert have any other favourites other than sushi on his food list? He laughs and says, “I love all kinds of food. Indian food is one of my favourites. I recently learnt that not all curries that are made are spicy, that there are different versions of them and I enjoy most of them. I’ve never tried to cook anything else other than sushi – that’s what I know best, so I’ll let the other experts make the other dishes for me instead.”

Chef Masayoshi was accompanied by his son, Chef Hideo Kazato, for the workshop. When asked if he looks forward to becoming an expert like his father and maybe add a new twist to the sushi recipe, he says, “I’m very grateful to be his son and to know that he is the best at what he does. I hope to be as good as him one day. But I don’t want to change the original recipes because someone needs to keep the legacy going!”

He also recalls an incident where his son challenges him to a sushi making contest at home and makes something that is absolutely inedible. Chef Hideo says, “My son is eight years old and he says that he can make better sushi than I can. Unfortunately it was absolutely inedible.

But when he was six years old, he once said that he also wants to become a sushi chef like me, I hope he sticks to that when he grows up
as well.”

The workshop ran through a session of the history and origin of sushi, the importance of the preparation and seasoning of ingredients, hygiene and sanitation and treatment of raw fish. Overall, it was a very educative session that everyone could learn from.

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