How to Become a Sushi Chef
Sushi chef has become an increasingly popular career choice in Japan, the West, and around the world. Sushi preparation and presentation has been revolutionized by a combination of tradition, creativity and innovation by master sushi chefs.
A great inspiration to aspiring sushi chefs is Masaharu Morimoto from Hiroshima in Japan. He wanted to be a baseball player but became, possibly, the most famous sushi chef in the world.
Then there’s the impressive Hidekazu Tojo from southern Japan who worked as an apprentice sushi chef in Osaka.
Tracey Griffith is a sushi chef who did her training in California. She’s become renowned for her presentation of ‘American-style sushi’.
Traditionally, in Japan it takes many years to become a sushi chef. In fact, it could take up to seven years. Sushi chefs are world renowned for their knowledge, taste, presentation, hygiene and knife skills.
Today, outside of Japan, there are many cooking schools offering full-time, professional training courses in how to become a sushi chef that last for two months. Some graduates open their own restaurants while others seek out an apprenticeship in an established sushi restaurant. An example of a two-month course curriculum would be:
Culture & history of Japanese cooking
Soup & stock
Dressings & sauces
Knife maintenance & sharpening
Steam, grill, deep fry, simmer
Prep sushi rice
Roll making traditional
Roll making fusion
Prep shellfish & fish
Marinate shellfish & fish
Effective visual garnishes & decoration
Roll making practice
Other sushi making like chriashi, hako and tsutsumi etc
How to set-up sushi bar incl. service
Calculate food cost
Regulations health dept
Ngiri & roll making practice
After a professional course in how to become a sushi chef and working as a sushi chef for one year, an advanced course of three weeks is advisable to acquire in-depth skills and techniques. An example of an advanced course would be:
Restaurant management & food cost
Sushi bar operation
Prep live clam & fish
Special rolls latest styles
Decoration of Omakese dishes
Decoration of fusion sauces
It is important to understand that the title of ‘Master Sushi Chef’ is only held by a very few who trained as chefs for at least seven years in Japan.
Graduates who complete a professional course in how to become a sushi chef outside of Japan have the skills to work behind a sushi bar. However, they can also go on to become private chefs or open their own small catering and banquet companies. After gaining sufficient working experience, it is also possible to give live sushi demos, write about sushi and enter the world of TV presenting.
Or, go all the way to Japan to learn how to become a sushi chef in English at http://www.sushischool.jp.