I Want To Be A Sushi Chef

I retired from my police career in the fall of 2013. Twenty-eight years had passed since I showed up for my first day at the police academy. Those years took their toll on me, physically and emotionally. I’m proud of my career, yet I’m relieved that it is over.

And so I’ve settled into a life I never envisioned. I live quietly; cooking, exercising and writing fill my days. In the evening, I share dinner and laughs with my wife. I’ve got it good.

So, why couldn’t I? (image by katorisi CCbySA3.0)

Now and again, someone will ask “if you could, would you go back to The Job?”. There are parts of my career that I miss, but the short answer is no.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have ambition.

I Dream Of Sushi

While I’ll never wear a police uniform again there is a job that I’d jump at – sushi chef. 

The precision and creativity required to make great sushi appeals to me.  I love how much this food’s presentation is part of the diner’s enjoyment of the dish. This isn’t throwing a steak on a plate and dropping some parsley next to it. A well turned out plate of sushi rises to the level of visual art.

I’d relish the challenge of giving my customers sushi and sashimi that appealed to both their taste buds and their eyes. I’d perfect my techniques for producing the sushi my patrons would expect on my menu. And I would experiment with new flavors and textures to create innovative options for sushi aficionados.

And I would make this outfit look good (image by David Monniaux CCbySA3.0)

I’d feel proud of my career, just as I did in my previous incarnation. How rewarding it would be to see the glowing reviews of my sushi rolling in. But there would be something even more rewarding.

I would enjoy the doubt on people’s faces when they’d see who was preparing their sushi. I’d stop by their tables to make sure they enjoyed their meals and bask in their compliments. And then, it would happen.

Someone, usually the one who’d had too much sake, would say something like “I was really worried because, you know, you’re not Japanese”. He wouldn’t mean anything by it, middle-aged Caucasian sushi chefs are a rarity. His friends would flush with embarrassment, as folks do when the subject of race comes up. I’d smile and break the tension by joking “neither are you!”

But that uncomfortable moment would bring up what is great about living in the United States. While we still undeniably have our problems, the thing we all tell our kids and the reason that folks still migrate here remains true – here, you can become anything you dream of being.

Let’s Not Get Hung Up In Details

And I will follow my new dream. I will follow it in spite of those of you who are reading this and thinking “but you don’t eat seafood”.

Your negativity can’t stop me. I was a damned fine hostage negotiator, but I’ve never had a hostage. I see no reason that I can’t become the best sushi chef without eating a fish.

So my search begins. I will find a master sushi chef who, unlike some of you, possesses the vision to see that my passion for sushi making is more important than my passion for eating what I produce. I’ll be an apprentice for as long as it takes.

Stop snickering or you’ll have to wait with all the other people who can’t get a reservation for my restaurant.


4 Comments on “I Want To Be A Sushi Chef”

  1. badabinge says:

    I enjoyed this post a lot! I work at a small grocery store/ wholesale store in the Midwest in a small town where the closest sushi restaurant is 45 mins. away. About 18 months ago the opportunity arose when I found the correct to-go sushi trays were available to us for me to do sushi. I ran with it and it’s been a HUGE success. I’ve sold over 2,500 trays (mind you I only do it on Fridays & Saturdays) in 18 months and I can’t describe how great it is to make the sushi look amazing and taste amazing and have people really respond! I never had professional training, just a deep interest and a little home experience. Again great post I really enjoyed it 🙂

  2. knace says:

    I have nothing but the utmost confidence in your sushi making ability! But what happened to the American theme restaurant in China idea? Maybe you could do a ” American Carolina Style Sushi” in China! Kind of a twist on the whole Asian fusion thing.
    p.s. Jiro was a really good documentary!

  3. Chad Miller says:

    You have to do what you want in life even if its not what others think is right. It is your passion that will make you good at whatever you do.

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