Ei Hiroyoshi is a head chef at the Beverly Hills location of Sasabune. Before taking up this post, he spent over a dozen years developing his craft under the famed Sushi Chef Nobi Kusuhara, the founder of Sasabune. In Los Angeles the number of sushi bars is in the range of hundreds, but Sasabune is counted among the select few that LA residents would speak of when discussing restaurants where sushi could be experienced as an art form. The words an artist uses when talking about the instruments that they create with are infused with personality, character, and life. We talked to Ei Hiroyoshi, a veteran sushi chef with over a dozen years of experience working countless days with his instrument. A craftsman forged the piece of metal that became the knife that Chef Hiroyoshi uses at his sushi counter. Chef Hiroyoshi continues the forging process, but not of the kind that requires a furnace. His is of a symbiotic relationship that comes to shape over a long period of time. The craftsmen have elevated a piece of metal to a knife. Chef Hiroyoshi has further elevated it to an instrument of creativity.
Passion on the Art of Knives
In my opinion, the passion and heart of the chef is reflected in every cut that he makes. It’s about the thrill of the moment. You don’t get to take back a cut once it is made. You only get one chance to cut the ingredient in such a way that best makes use of it, or else it is ruined. This is especially true in sushi. It is challenging but also satisfying. For example, when fileting halibut you aim exactly in between the center bone and the flesh and it’s quite hard to get it right every time, but when you get it exactly right you can hear the sound of the blade gliding over the bone and for me it’s thrilling to hear and feel that through the knife.
Chef Knife Maintainance
I believe that the way in which a chef goes about taking care of his knives is a reflection of his character. The love a chef displays toward his knives is a measure of the love he feels for his cuisine. I’m a believer in sharpening your own knives. It’ll take some time and effort to learn the skill but I find a lot of value in the process. I myself encourage my own staff to do the same. One other thing I do is to rotate my knives in order to minimize the wear and tear that each knife receives over a period of time.