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.
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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.
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.)