An Afternoon With Chef Nobu Matsuhisa


Photos Credit: Nicolle Monico

It can be hard to know what a world-renowned person will be like upon meeting them for the first time. Will they be humble and gracious or carry an air of self-importance? You always hope for the former but at times, can be let down by the latter.

Either way, most of the time you’re just hoping you don’t slip up and say something embarrassing. Yesterday I had the honor of participating in a 10-person sushi rolling class with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa (yes, the Nobu). Held inside a small room at his San Diego restaurant inside the Hard Rock Hotel, we gathered around a table, eager to meet the legend and of course, dine on Nobu-approved rolls.

nobu

When Nobu walked into the small room, he barely made his presence known. Dressed in jeans, a chef’s coat and donning a sweet, grandpa-like smile, he quietly checked the ingredients on the table before greeting us. Then, as if sensing our need to relax, joked that Champagne was needed before the class began. We happily obliged.

Warm, funny and demure, Chef is exactly as I had hoped. Discussing an omakase dinner in Vegas for charity, Nobu mentioned that guests paid $1,000 a person for their coveted seats. With this story we were quickly reminded that a private audience with him should not to be taken for granted. “One, two, three, flip, four, five, six,” Chef counted as he showed us the six steps it takes to make nigiri. We had trouble keeping up, even with his one-on-one demonstrations. If you’re trying this at home, wet hands are essential to keep rice from sticking everywhere. Unlike us, he shared that he can make a roll in around seven seconds (to our almost 30-second attempts).

nobu

Five pieces down and three hand rolls later, we were being taught the correct way to dip our sushi into soy sauce—fish side down—and learned to ditch the chopsticks. “Use your fingers,” he told us, “and eat it in one bite.”

Nobu is the only chef is in his family; pretty impressive considering his name now correlates to some of the best sushi in the world. Chef currently owns 32 restaurants in 28 cities and travels 10 months out of the year. “It’s why I’m still married,” joked Nobu. Year after year, the chef is recognized with various accolades, his biggest ones including America’s 10 Best New Chefs by Food and Wine Magazine (1989); induction into Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America by the James Beard Foundation (2002); Nobu Fifty Seven awarded Three Stars by Frank Bruni of The New York Times (2005); and Nobu Berkeley St., Matsuhisa Beverly Hills, Nobu Las Vegas and Nobu San Diego all awarded one Michelin Star (2005-2008).

nobu

When asked what Americans do that is incorrect or disrespectful when eating sushi, he urged that it’s more of a question of how you were taught than what is impolite. Americans love their soy sauce, but Nobu emphasized that sushi shouldn’t be drenched in our wasabi-mixed, soy-sauce concoctions. A quick upside down dip is all it needs, and be sure to eat it quickly since the fish begins to be less fresh the second it is plated. We also learned that years ago, when sushi was becoming more popular and trendy, chefs were using frozen yellowtail in their rolls. When Nobu came onto the scene he began using the fresh fish and, as it turns out, customers complained that it didn’t taste right since it wasn’t what they were used to. Nowadays, one of his most renowned dishes is the Hamachi (Japanese yellowtail) with jalapeño—guess he showed them.

Although you could assume Nobu’s favorite rolls were some of his most unique creations, his favorites are actually quite the opposite. “You know sushi [has] so many different [styles]—nigiri, hand roll, you can also create your own roll—so it depends on the day. I like tuna rolls, simple, just tuna and the wasabi and cucumber rolls, very simple.” And what does he drink with his creations? A Chardonnay (while in California) and finishes the meal with a tequila shot. The last part may have been a quip, but either way, here’s to hoping our next Nobu encounter involves taking shots and shooting the breeze.





Source link

Reply

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This
NBC tries to promote karate for 2020 Olympics, shows taekwondo
Ala. lawyer busted trafficking methamphetamine, 369 grams seized
Former Cuomo aide killed in crash on Long Island Expressway
Critics rip Cuomo plan that combines tax and wage subsidies
Oil prices fall as analysts say August price rally has been overblown
Asian shares slip, dollar stands tall on Fed hike bets
Japan Inc unenthused over Abe's stimulus, BOJ easing: Reuters poll
Facebook can climb more than 20 percent on ad growth: Barron's
Singapore Luxury Real Estate: Back to a Buyer's Market
Sail The Seven Seas With Ease In The Oyster 625 Bandido
The Montblanc Meisterstück Is On Point
The Wining Wines of the 2015 En Primeur Campaign
Can’t believe you ate the whole thing? Blame ‘false hunger’
Lead in NYC tap water is a danger despite quality system
Seattle toddler speaks first words after nearly drowning
Humans first infected Neanderthals with herpes, tuberculosis
Barbra Streisand Tells Apple to Fix Siri's Pronunciation of Last Name
Watch Metallica Debut Punishing 'Hardwired' Live at Minneapolis Concert
Matt Roberts, Original 3 Doors Down Guitarist, Dead at 38
Frank Ocean Reflects on Creating 'Blonde' in Tumblr Posts
Obama wants more choices for consumers using cable boxes
Sanders preaches economic equality at the Vatican
Senator calls out CUNY boss Milliken on campus anti-Semitism
Angry campaign making strange bedfellows out of bedfellows
Basketball Football Other Sports
SEE IT: Softball player pulls off behind-the-back bunt
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s office raided in Moscow
Isola: Phil Jackson no longer the cool, calm man on bench
Mobile Social
How carbon nanotubes could give us faster processors and longer battery life
Facebook’s new teens-only app Lifestage turns bios into video profiles
Looklive helps men shop by mimicking celebs’ styles