The Gohan Society

Mastering Fish the Japanese Way 2009

Starts: October 19 @ 10:00am
Ends: July 19 @ 1:00pm
Location: Astor Center, 399 Lafayette St. Ny NY

This event is fully booked.
An 8-Session, Comprehensive Course in Fish Anatomy and Filleting, with Special Focus on Hygiene and Safe Practices

Mastering Fish the Japanese Way is a comprehensive course taught in 8 sessions by Chef Suzuki-san, the owner of Sushi Zen and one of New York’s most highly respected Japanese chefs. Throughout this highly interactive course, he’ll be sharing with you the knowledge and skills he has gained in over 44 years of working with fish. We feel certain that chefs attending the 8 sessions will receive an education in the art of fish handling and preparation that is normally impossible to acquire outside of Japan.

PLEASE NOTE: This Seminar requires a certain level of experience with the preparation of Fish. While the Gohan Society offers this course at no charge to participating chefs, seating is strictly limited to just 16 attendees, so please RSVP to taeko@gohansociety.org at soon as possible. We do expect seats to fill quickly. In addition, because this is a comprehensive course, with the information and skills learned in each class being carried forward to the following classes, we ask that you commit to attending all 8 sessions. (Requires certain level of experience with the Fish)

Date: “Mastering Fish the Japanese Way” will be presented on the third Monday of each month from 10 AM to 1 PM, from October 19th through July 19th, except for November and December when there will be no classes.

The specific dates are 10/19, 1/18, 2/15, 3/15, 4/19, 5/17, 6/21, 7/19.

Location: Astor Center* 399 Lafayette St. (Use entrance at 23 E. 4th St.)

*Astor Center is a hub of gastronomic culture with a mission to facilitate exchange within our community of food, wine and spirits enthusiasts. Offered is a full calendar of seminars, tastings, pairings and hands-on culinary activities that are open to the public, as well as whole or partial space rental for trade and professional events. It is located directly above and a sister company to Astor Wines and Spirits, the city’s finest store for bar and restaurant industry research and support.

The Gohan Society is pleased to offer New York chefs this exciting educational opportunity and we look forward to hearing back from you. While the content for each session is still being developed, the attached sheet will give you an idea of some of what you’ll learn in “Mastering Fish the Japanese Way.”

What You’ll Learn in Mastering Fish the Japanese Way

The Japanese mastery of fish is the result of skills and knowledge developed and passed down for more than 800 years. It’s a fish-based culinary history that has no real comparison in Western cultures. So, even if some topics below seem familiar to you, what you’ll learn about them will be new. Chef Suzuki-san will present techniques and information that will give you an entirely different perspective on working with fish. And with raw fish increasingly being served in non-Japanese restaurants, we feel it is essential to learn these basic rules of hygiene and sanitation in addition to culinary techniques. Whether you’re serving fish raw or cooked in your restaurant, you’ll gain valuable new skills and knowledge in this 8-session course.

While the content for the course is still being developed, here are some of the subjects that Chef Suzuki-san will cover:

  • Anatomy and Structure of Fish By Type
    • Muscle
    • Nerves
    • Bones
  • Work Station / Equipment
    • Japanese Knives
    • Proper use of each type of knife
    • Sharpening
  • Fish Cutting / Live or Nozimé
    • Fish cleaning
    • Boning
    • Rinsing
    • Sectioning
    • Filleting
    • Maximizing use of fish parts
    • Extending shelf life of fish
  • Hygiene Management
    • Parasites
    • Bacteria
  • Serving Sashimi
    • Sashimi Slicing
    • Condiments
Chef Toshio Suzuki

Chef Toshio Suzuki began his career at the age of 19, under the guidance of Master Chef Nakanori in Tokyo. Originally, he wanted to be a Buddhist monk because he enjoyed studying philosophy but instead he applied his philosophy to his study of Japanese cuisine. For ten years, Chef Suzuki studied the concept and history of the Edo style of sushi, the modern style that was developed in Edo period in the mid 18th Century. He then went on to practice the skills of ikezukuri, a form of sashimi presentation where live fish is prepared swiftly and presented to the guest while still alive. Chef Suzuki takes an intellectual, spiritual and scientific approach to cooking. The result is the harmony of umami, the sixth sense of taste, a savory meaty flavor that is hard to define.

Chef Suzuki then came to the United States where he worked at several restaurants including Edo Garden, Nagasaki and Take Sushi. He started his own restaurant called SUSHI ZEN in 1983 in New York City. Since then, his dream was to introduce traditional Japanese cuisine to Americans even though it was very hard to accomplish at that time. However, when he moved his restaurant to the current location, he decided to achieve his dream of serving real traditional Japanese cuisine with its history and philosophy behind them.

Chef Noriyuki Kobayashi

Chef Noriyuki Kobayashi is a chef with over 20 years experience in both traditional Japanese style and western style cuisines. He started his culinary career in his hometown of Tokyo, Japan. At Gonpachi Restaurant in Tokyo, he was the Executive Sous Chef in charge of kitchen operations and served visiting foreign dignitaries such as Vice President Cheney. He was Executive Sous Chef at Maimon Ginza Restaurant in Tokyo. For the last few years, Chef Nori has been working at Megu Midtown Restaurant in New York City where he currently serves as the Head Sushi Chef.

Along with Chef Nori’s hospitality first mentality, and attention to customer satisfaction, he has been able to form a very unique, exciting and well-rounded style. His ability to update dishes adapted from traditional cuisine highlights his creativity in the kitchen.

Chef Nori is a supporter of sustainable food production and responsible food cultivation. He is also very active with volunteer projects such as the “2008 Summer Immersion Workshop for High School Students: Japanese Cuisine 101: Washoku” as well as “Reel Food: Teaching Tofu at the Astor Center”.

Chef Kazuhiro Sato

Chef Kazuhiro Sato was born and raised in Miyagi Prefecture where he helped in his family’s traditional Japanese restaurant and graduated from Miyagi Culinary School. Soon after, he moved to New York City where for the last 20 plus years, Chef Sato has worked at some of the older authentic Japanese restaurants frequented by Japanese customers looking for a taste of home. More recently he served as Executive Chef of Nori Restaurant, and currently serves as Executive Chef of Poke Restaurant.

Chef Sato has a wide range of expertise in Japanese Cuisine including Udon, Kaiseki, Tempura, Unagi, and Sushi. He most enjoys working behind the counter while interacting with his customers, learning their tastes, making a connection with them and watching them enjoy their food. Chef Sato expresses himself best when customers order Omakase or Chef’s choice where he selects various plates for customers to eat based on fresh ingredients that are prepared uniquely for each customer based on what he thinks they will enjoy.

His philosophy is that food has to be enjoyable. Cook good food within a reasonable price range using high quality ingredients and strong technique. His style is based on an authentic traditional japanese menu with a modern twist. Although he has served so many customers through the years, it may be his customer’s first time tasting his food so Chef Sato reminds himself that each dish, each meal preparation is very important to him so he strives for the very best in everything he makes.

He enjoys teaching western chefs various cooking methods and sharing Japanese cuisine with the world, and finds that he learns just as much from the experience.

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