One lesson I learned from the early days of the sustainable sushi movement was the difficulty of reaching an audience with words alone, especially if the subject matter was troubling. We are so bombarded with depressing information these days that we have developed a tendency to shut off when we are unable — or unwilling — to accept any additional gloom. This can pose a problem when trying to reach an audience with a message about something dire that requires their participation, such as protecting our oceans.
When my partners and I opened Tataki Sushi Bar in 2008, we found an opportunity to communicate our conservation mission without relying solely on language. The restaurant allowed us to express ourselves through flavors, aromas, and plating arrangements that transmitted the potential of mindful dining without resorting to speeches or verbose mission statements. Dinner remained dinner, it did not become an uninvited clinic on the plight of our environment.
Ever since, I have tried to hold to this idea that messages are stronger when they come through multiple senses simultaneously, and that stressing the positive potential of adaptation is a more welcome approach than relying solely on alarmist rhetoric. In this spirit, I am happy to announce the first of multiple partnerships that will pair an omakase (chef’s choice, no menu) sustainable sushi experience with a reading of Umijoo.
On May 23, I will be teaming up with the incredible team at Mayanoki in New York City. Chef Jeff Miller will be designing and executing a thirteen-course arc through the width and breadth of the sushi spectrum. Miller’s adherence to classic Japanese technique as well as his passion for ethical food systems give rise to a subtle, delicate approach to sushi that places him among the top echelon of sushi chefs across the country.
When prepared with reverence and humility, sushi becomes more than a meal. It is a journey, a romance, and an education. Mayanoki will be offering two seatings of eight seats each (sixteen tickets total). Sign up now to reserve your spot; this is an experience you will savor for a long, long time. Join us!