How to style

How sushi chef Derek Wilcox brought his Japanese training to Omaha, New York

30 Sep , 2019  

But I would say to my mentors back in Japan: Okayama reunite his Moscow, so no IPE or Shetty director mono, ah mo boku mo senpai Nina there. So there Kohei, not oniy, start AO Kosuke night is Sonia Martinez good evening. Welcome. How are you I grew up in Virginia no in Virginia suburban Washington DC, I grew up eating pretty much what everybody else eats: SpaghettiOs and macaroni and cheese being a foreigner living and working in Japan, especially in traditional industry like that you’re helpless, at first kind of Like an infant, so this is o closet, called goblin fish or scorpion fish or stone fish, and then you kind of go through a adolescence or a teenager year where you’re kind of rebelling against it.
And then you go to the point where you realize that we’re buying acid isn’t helping you at all and then you’re. Basically, an adult these spines are venomous. There’s these little poison sacs along the side of the spine. It’Ll sit on the sea floor with these spines up to protect itself, you kind of have to if you just graze it with your fingers that you probably probably won’t get any venom. But if you stab yourself it injects the venom even when it’s not alive anymore. It will inject the venom and this guy won’t kill you, but it’s very painful, there’s some thrill about eating something. That’s trying to kill you. There actually did fugu before I did Oh cozy, so I was kind of over the the poisonous fish nervousness by that point. But really the danger is really to the fisherman and the chef, but more than it is to the diner with this fish. So the first thing to do is to get the spines out by cutting down on each side. All right, I’m gonna, have to move fairly quickly. Cuz. We don’t have a lot of time, so first gotta, get the eyes out and it cuts. Oh this one has eggs nice. My first day keep you know so Kiki noise kind of famous in Japan for being a really really hard place to work. I didn’t know that will serve more than 100 250 people for dinner, which is large in Japan. It’s very traditional Chi Seki. So you learn a lot of traditional techniques across all of Japanese cuisine, not just say sushi or tempura. Some of that, but you learn the whole breadth of technique, which is great. The first Michelin Guide came out in Kyoto in 2008. I think it was and they got three stars and they’ve kept the three stars since then, chef Mirada is passionate about showing what’s incredible, about Japanese cuisine and spreading it around the world.
That’s probably the reason why they, let me in they told me 16-hour days, which was actually not true. That was more than that. I wasn’t ready for that. I want an immersive, tough experience, but nobody’s prepared for that most of the kids who go there quit in the first two weeks. These are Japanese, kids, of course, coming from top level cooking schools over the children of famous chefs and they quit in two weeks. Most of them, I’ve done a lot of octopus, and this is the only way I’ve ever done it yeah. These are the these are the eggs of the octopus. Here you can see where it were. There’s a where the membrane is broken. You can see the individual eggs they’re very small, very tasty. This is a coarse flake style sea salt. You don’t want to use like kosher salt, because the will give it a strange flavor. I think, after about six months, your body kind of adjusts and it gets a little easier in terms physically and then and then you start to get more responsibilities and then good stuff. I think not knowing what’s going on so much and not understanding when I was being chewed out in Japanese, at least at first kind of help me maybe stick it out and ended up staying there almost seven years I pried and settle in until about my sixth Year in terms of not just the language, but also just fitting in in in the social environment at work now, this octopus is squeaky, clean all the slime ease out and cutting your pieces, and you can either leave the psyphon the lieutenant goals or take it off. I take it off a butterfly open the head and then split the tentacles starting here at the back, and this one’s already had the beak removed in Japan, so they’ll kind of attack each other and you’ll get these like bite marks if they don’t remove the beak. So it’s almost like, like if you give someone a massage and you kind of like it like a deep massage, and you can kind of feel that there’s knots in their muscles – that’s what it feels like it. This is automate. This is a basically Japanese version of Demerara turbinado sugar. It’s a raw sugar or washed sugar from southern Japan, where they do sugar cane production.
You put in the tentacles by kind of dipping them and pulling them out a little bit and dipping them and pulling them out and that’s to get a nice curl a tentacle. Then the head can go into after working kicking away for seven years. I was thinking of coming back United States, but I realized that you know in the u.s. sushi is by far the most important Japanese cuisine just to have the professional skill I wanted to train in sushi for at least a few more years. So I went to Tokyo and trained at sushi algae and Ginza for another. Three years before I came back, hi sucky and Kyoto is not just a tasting menu. It’s a cultural experience and it’s plugged into all these cultural and craft elements in Kyoto, and then you go to Tokyo and it’s more like a restaurant here, where you’re trying to just put together a meal that makes people happy it’s nowhere near as demanding. I think what what makes the the menu here it shows you different from other omakase. Restaurants. Is it’s a combination of the Kai psyche and sushi so that pi is years old, maybe for Thai there’s kind of a sweet spot at about two and a half kilos? Where you know, if it’s too small, it doesn’t have enough fat and if it’s too big, it’s still good, but you get a little bit less yield because the the tendons get larger and you can’t use the parts that have a lot of tendons in them. This is kohada gizzard shad, you sort of have to go through learning, not just the language, but you know body language and what’s expected of you in a workplace in Japan, which is totally different from here. No work in Japan is your life when Western culture, I think in general, I know in America you can mimic, you can mirror people and it’ll get you a lot of places that you know if you’re feel uncomfortable in a social situation or you don’t know how To act, if you mirror the person you’re with it’s a good guide in Japan, that’s a very bad thing to do. The thing is in Japan, it’s hierarchical, so every relationship you’re either above or below somebody for the most part, especially at work. If say, a chef is selling something to do and you mirror even their body language, that’s very bad. I mean if they know that you don’t know what you’re doing they might put up with it, but most of them would be just furious.
Also, once you get some responsibility in you’re responsible for some of the younger cooks, if you mirror the way they talk to, you, they’ll assume that you’re below them and they won’t listen to you and they’ll actually start talking down to you. You have to learn how to act in different situations, and you have to think you know what you’re supposed to be doing a situation. There’s so many different kinds that you around the world. As far as Japanese food goes, there’s three major ones that you eat. There’s the Onaga that we Nagi in the hummus is this. Guy Hamo is a kind of eel, it’s a CEO, but it’s not the normal CEO uh Nago. It has the same richness that eel has, but it also tastes like a white flesh fish in western Japan. People are passionate about it during the summer. If you go there you’ll have it a thousand different ways: every place should go. Hamo is not just a great fish in terms of its quality and its flavor, but it’s a great achievement in Japanese cuisine. It took a lot of ingenuity and skill to develop the technique to make Hummel edible after I learned how to do it. I didn’t want that skill to be a dead end, and I want to pass it along to the people that work here. Also, all the eel are funny: it’s not like a normal fish, it’s more like an animal that then went back into the ocean or something lost its legs. This one’s from algae, Shima, algae Island, which is off of Osaka, there’s sort of a strait between Kyushu and the main island and Shikoku, and it’s very nutrient rich, but also fast-moving ocean currents and all the fish from there are particularly fatty. But, but not flabby, because they have to be athletic to survive and fast currents. It’s one of the best places for fish in the whole world on the inside eels smell like an animal smells on the inside and on they don’t smell like a fish smells on the inside, particularly Hummel. This part looks kinda normal compared to a regular fish, but instead taking off the hopefully we’re gonna butterfly it, and then this part is different. You come from this side, and this is the kind of or the difficult part cut is very thin You don’t have a whole lot, okay, so that was the first difficult part getting out the backbone.
The ribs are also difficult to remove Well, the hardest thing is cutting the balls because you have to cut through the flesh through the bones, but not through the skin, and the bones are apart: they’re calcified they’re, not you know soft, like some other yield bones are, but you need a very thick heavy Knife to get through the bones: it’s almost like playing the violin You have to learn how to do it step by step The knife is a pony, QT, bull choke, which means bone cutting knife So this is the bone cutting knife If you look at the edge, you can see it’s quite thick about 1/4 inch thick, it’s heavy and it’s there’s no weight in the handle the handle is just wood It’s basically weighted like a machete and you need that weight to get through the bones You’Re hearing the bones that I’m cutting through you’re right there there’s about 10 bones, so you know maybe 80 rows of six bones So hundreds of bones, you want to cut about every millimeter or two, and that makes the bones small enough that you won’t notice them Even if you’re not serving Hamo itself, the muscle control that you need to do it is an important training step when you’re becoming a chef I think what makes the menu here it shows you different from other omakase Restaurants Is it’s a combination of high Seki and sushi? I wanted to learn Japanese cuisine, but I wanted to learn it in a way into an extent that no one had done before So I needed to do something that nobody had done before This is so close It sliced very thin, a little bit of its skin has been blanching is in the middle If I were doing French cooking, I could work five days a week and twelve hours a day, but no I’m doing Japanese cooking So I have to work six days a week 18 hours a day, so is the hustling which contrasts something from the ocean and something from the mountain This octopus is from hajima Island in Tokyo Bay, poached until tender and new potatoes from Hudson Valley with snappy Also you Hummel with vinegar, which is pureed pickled plum You have to really really want to do it You have to passionate about it or you’re gonna quit, because it’s so difficult I kind of couldn’t quit Even if I wanted to


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