One of Chef Hosoda's passions is cooking rice, which may sound simple (there are appliances that do that with a press of a button!), but the chef insists there's a better method. "To me, rice is sacred. I use the best kind I can find and make sure that even the water it's boiled in is filtered and heated to the right temperature. It may sound crazy, but rice -- when it's made correctly -- makes all the difference."
Aside from rice, Hosada joins us today to talk about a few more of his favorite ingredients, his aversion to sauces and his slight obsession with sharpening knives.
Hardest Kitchen Lesson: I grew up eating sushi and rice without sauces or spices, and here in the US, a lot of people like the different sauces. So sometimes it's difficult for me to see fish or sushi dishes eaten with a ton of other ingredients -- it's like eating Kobe beef with a ton of ketchup. But whatever makes people happy.
Favorite Tool: Absolutely my knives. They're Japanese, of course, and I sharpen them at least every other day. When you're working with sushi, every cut has to be straight and sharp.
Phoenix Food Scene Needs More: food education. I love being here as a chef because I've met a lot of people that are very open minded about what they eat, but I think there's always room for more adventure, more exotic foods. We have to break through the wall of what's normal and try new things if we want to grow.
Favorite Ingredient Right Now: I'm trying to bring different influences into my sushi dishes, so right now I really like working with Serrano peppers and jalapenos.
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Next out of the kitchen: I want to be able to see people having fun with the food I make, so I want to keep trying new things. I feel very lucky to come from a very traditional culinary environment like Japan, and to land in a place like this.
(This was part two of our Chef Chat with Takeshi Hosoda of Radio Cafe. Check out part one and stay tuned for a recipe tomorrow.)