Sushi, a dish of such elegance and simplicity. Who would’ve thought something that started as a way of fermenting and preserving fish (historically, rice was filled in the cavity of a fish to facilitate fermentation), would become a global phenomenon of culinary excellence.
Japanese cuisine, where sushi was derived from, places great emphasis on eating food that is in season, usually at the peak of the ingredient’s freshness in flavour. If Japanese cuisine was a religion – the quality of the ingredients would be the most sacred.
In the first competition of its kind in Japan, the inaugural World Sushi Cup attracted accomplished chefs from around the world — including unlikely sushi hot spots such as Sweden, Denmark, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. Organized by the World Sushi Cup Japan Committee and the Chiba Prefectural government, the competition was intended to celebrate diversity in the sushi world, and that it certainly did.
Using some of the freshest local ingredients found in their countries, 18 sushi chefs from 13 countries dazzled spectators with their skill and ingenuity in creating unique and original sushi dishes.
So which restaurant took home top honours and was named Most Outstanding Sushi Restaurant in The World?
No, it wasn’t a restaurant in Japan…but after each restaurant team was given an hour to make 200 pieces of sushi, and most of the chefs strove to highlight the flavors of their home countries, Sweden’s Saiko emerged with the top honour.
The winning dish? According to The Japan Times, Chef Pontus Johansson’s elaborate salmon nigiri — topped with a marble-sized ball of fried salmon, rolled in gold dust, aioli sauce made with green garlic from Sweden, and thinly sliced hazelnuts cooked in soy sauce – was the favourite.
The World Sushi Cup 2014 will again see an incredible field of sushi chefs from all over the world competing and demonstrating their delicious ingredients, preparation techniques and food culture. If you’d like to attend or participate, for more information head to World Sushi Cup Japan 2014.