Fiesta Virgen del Carmen

A brief history lesson to honor the Peruvian roots of SUSHISAMBA!

Fiesta Virgen del Carmen is a 4-day festival that takes places in Paucartambo, Peru. July 16 is the central day when the Virgin Carmen (shown above) is paraded around the town, blessing all spectators and keeping demons away. This is all represented through cool dances and brightly colored costumes.

Photo props to: http://www.apus-peru.com/trip-planning/virgen_of_carmen.htm

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Perú Sabe: Cuisine as an Agent of Social Change

“Perú Sabe: Cuisine as an Agent of Social Change” is an upcoming documentary featuring world-renowned chefs Ferran Adrià and Gastón Acurio who join together to show how new recipes and culinary education/human development is progressing in Perú through gastronomy. The documentary explores how food can bring people together from all around the world to create social change. As Gastón Acurio explains, “The power of cuisine is finally used not only to cheer up the people who eat the food, but mostly, to transform the lives of the people who surround it.”

The documentary will be released in the Fall of 2012. Can’t wait.

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ted talk: dan barber

Here’s a great weekend watch…Dan Barber lectures on how to keep fish on our menus:

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bmw guggenheim lab

BMW and the Guggenheim united in a clever partnership (August 3 – October 16) as the “BMW Guggenheim Lab” – a “mobile laboratory traveling around the world to inspire innovative ideas for urban life.”

I learned about the Lab through a razor, a shiny knife – an incredible culinary/performance art group that I read about a few months ago in the NYT for the the multi-course meal they served on the L train. The way they’ve been able to bring food (as education, art and cuisine) into social, political, environmental topics is pretty awesome.

Last night at the ‘Lab’ on East Houston Street, they presented “Edible Water: a study of hydrocolloids and water scarcity and potability around the world.” They shared stats on the world’s access to water, ie: In the U.S., each person has access to (and uses) approximately 600 liters per day… while in some rural areas of countries, like Kenya, people must walk 4-6 hours per day just to gather a few liters of polluted water. They went on to discuss the use of agar, sodium alginate and xanthan gum as thickening agents for water/liquids (to either a gel or sol) in the cooking process. Education on these two separate topics was bridged a razor, a shiny knife’s ‘culinary metaphor’ for the inaccessibility of water in more remote places of the world:

Population with sustained access to an improved water source + ‘culinary expression’ based on hydrocolloids. Density = Inaccessibility due to Sourcing/Pollutants.

US 100%  (no additives in sample)

Peru 83%  (xanthan gum .2%)

Fiji 47% (agar .5%) photo compares Peru and Fiji… so dense you can flip the cups over…:

Ethopia   22% (agar 2%)

Somalia  urban 63%, rural 10% (sodium alginate .8% and calcium chloride .5%) photo:

They shared some great resources for learning more about the global water situation, including: OXFAM, The Water Project, UN WATER, UNICEF-WASH, Global Water Challenge, Water Charity, Water.org, and charity:water.

To contribute to these efforts, SUSHISAMBA participates in UNICEF’s Tap Project annually.

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yamato

As we’re developing some culinary education programs for our FOH staff it’s been interesting to revisit the inspiration behind some our signatures.

The Yamato Roll (Big Eye Tuna, Sturgeon Caviar, Foie Gras, 24k Gold Leaf) was one of Koji’s awesome creations. He named it after a popular sci-fi anime series in Japan, where Yamato was an intergalactic space ship. The roll with it’s unique shape/balance – resembles this space ship. We did a little more research and learned that Yamato was the name of Japan’s largest and most powerful battleship in World War II. Even today it remains a poetic name for Japan and a symbol of heroism.

The roll itself is another great example of the way SUSHISAMBA’s sushi departs from tradition and takes risks… Risks that taste awesome.

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camellia sinensis

Camellia sinensis = a plant species that produces white, green, oolong, pu-erh and black tea. Even though all teas come from the leaves/leaf buds of this same plant – the oxidation process imparts specific attributes that make each style of tea look/taste so different.

This photo is from Tea Forte, an amazing tea company who we’ll be working with very soon…

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the record-breaker

Here’s The Telegraph’s coverage of the 342kg Bluefin Tuna that was recently sold at a record-breaking £250,000 at Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, Japan. So crazy…

At SUSHISAMBA we’ve created a NO BLUE campaign to protect Bluefin Tuna and help to raise awareness about the species’ endangered status – but it’s important that we continue understand the ecological and economical impact of the global seafood market.

I still have a bunch of other great videos and photos to share from our trip to Tsukiji this past November…. To start, here’s a shot of some of the fresh tuna for sale post morning auction:

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cuts by culture

Cow Diagrams from America, Brazil and Japan:

America:

Image from Hubpages.com

Brazil:

Japan:

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ferran adrià on japanese cuisine

In Japan there’s a sense of sensitivity and simplicity in food and service that you can’t find anywhere else. Our experiences bring back many of the more ‘philosophical’ approaches to cooking that I’d encountered during my time at elBulli – Ferran Adrià has always been incredibly inspired by Japanese cuisine.

Check out this quick clip from an interview with Ferran and Dorothy Hamilton (CEO of The International Culinary Center):

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oshizushi

I had some extra time tonight to upload more of the great content we captured during our time at the CIA’s World of Flavor conference. This video is of Chef Shirou Komaki (Chef/Owner of Sushiman, an Osaka-based restaurant specializing in Osaka-style sushi; with a 350-year history) in a presentation titled “Traditions of Sushi and Sashimi: Discovering Regional Styles from Tokyo to Osaka.” Chef Komaki shows us haku sushi/oshizushi – or – ‘box sushi’…
Incredible demo – and a funny chef… We had a chance to talk to him (via translator) during the walk-around ‘Flavor Discovery Tasting’ lunch.

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