Every sushi lover will cherish the opportunity to sit in front of a sushi master chef and eat specially prepared sushi with exceptional flavour and aroma. Getting a chance to eat at highly rated sushi restaurants in Japan and other countries is a unique event because most high-end sushi bars require special reservations. Here is a short list of master chefs who make some of the best sushi on the planet.
Jiro Ono is generally regarded by fellow chefs as the greatest sushi chef alive. He is the owner of the Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 3-Michelin star sushi restaurant located near a subway station in Tokyo Japan. This 90-year old chef has served many famous world leaders including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Barack Obama in 2014. Obama said the sushi prepared by Jiro Ono was the best he had ever tasted in his life.
During his 65 years as a qualified sushi chef, Jiro has created new methods used in contemporary sushi preparation. He encourages his guests to call him and make reservations in advance before coming to the 10-seat sushi bar. Ono also allows his guests to specify exactly what they want. An exceptional perfectionist with rigid discipline, Ono believes that overfishing will affect the availability and quality of sushi ingredients in the years to come.
Chef Ichimura, a Tokyo trained chef who is now well over 60 years, has been making sushi for about 40 years. He operated a top-class sushi bar called Ichimura at the Upper East Side of New York before he shut it down and moved to Brushstroke, NYC. He is now the master chef at Ichimura at Brushstroke the sushi-ya, which is part of David Bouley’s Japanese restaurant.
Clients have to make reservations in advance to be one of the guests that will sit at the 8-seat bar. Focusing primarily on sashimi and nigiri, Ichimura prepares at least 4 days ahead for the omakase chef’s tastings. Clients who make their reservations early can enjoy his delicacies, which include 2-week cold-aged tuna. Ichimura is a specialist in ‘shime’ (a technique for curling, picking and ageing sea food and fish).
Yoshiharu Kakinuma is the executive chef in charge of Sushi Shikon, Hong Kong, a branch of Sushi Yoshitake in Tokyo, Japan. Kakinuma comes from a family of sushi chefs, which include his father and grandfather. However, his father encouraged him to be independent and learn how to make sushi from someone else. So he served as an apprentice under Mr. Yoshitake, a sushi master chef. Yoshitake took a special interest in him and offered to train him personally.
After completing his training, Kakinuma decided to expand his horizon and learn English, so he travelled to the U.S, where he worked in New York City and Atlanta. After a decade of perfecting his craft in the U.S., Yoshitake asked him to come and take charge of the new branch in Hong Kong in 2012. Kakinuma has since provided excellent sushi dishes using fresh ingredients flown in daily from Tokyo. He has also helped the Sushi Shikon to achieve a consistent 3-Michelin star rating since 2014.
Chef Araki is arguably the best sushi master chef in Europe at the moment. Araki, the charismatic Japanese chef at The Araki, located at New Burlington Street in London, shut down his Araki sushi-ya in Tokyo before moving to England with his wife. Araki was a 3-Michelin star sushi chef in Tokyo and is famous for his amazing skills and knowledge about tuna fish.
Every evening he unwraps a large chunk of tuna and poses for photographs with his dinner guests. He has used his innovative sushi skills to substitute certain traditional Japanese sushi ingredients that are not readily available in Europe. He uses white alba truffle and black caviar in place of clams and crustaceans that are abundant in Tokyo but scarce in London.
Masaaki Koyama is the most famous sushi chef in Tasmania and one of the best in Australia. After falling in love with Lucy, he married her and moved to Australia, eight years ago. With a strong desire to be a sushi chef since childhood, Koyama pursued his dream when he arrived in this warm and friendly country. He is now living his dream with his popular sushi bar in Tasmania. His bar only opens twice in a week and he sells out every time because his sushi is so attractive, rich and tasty.
So many Tasmanians had never tasted Japanese cuisine until Koyama opened his sushi-ya but now they have fallen in love with it. He began with tempura, vegetable and different kinds of Westernised sushi before preparing dishes with raw fish. Many Australians troop in from other states to come and taste Koyama’s sushi. Koyama ensures that he uses only fresh produce for his sushi, he grows his own vegetables, buys fresh produce from the market and goes to the sea to fish as a hobby.
If you plan to visit any of the cities where these chefs are serving, make a plan and a budget to taste their sushi. Take advantage of the opportunity to pamper your taste buds with sushi rolls and fish from the world’s best sushi master chefs.