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Topic: Hajime Sato
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November 12, 2013 at 1:06 PM
What’s hot? Oh, let’s not! Instead, join Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson Thursday, Nov. 14 at Town Hall when the Seattle Times, in partnership with the Seattle Public Library, hosts a panel of chefs and restaurateurs who’ve been around long enough to know that being great trumps being new.
How do they keep it real? How do they keep their customers coming back for more? What makes them hot under the collar when it comes to the public — and the media’s — insatiable appetite for the latest hot-new-thing? Nancy sits down with John Sundstrom of Lark, Mashiko’s Hajime Sato, Café Juanita’s Holly Smith, Daisley Gordon of Cafe Campagne and Marché and Wild Ginger’s Rick Yoder.
The conversation starts at 7 p.m., and promises to be frank, smart and a little bit smarty-pants. It’s free, there will be prizes, and the audience will have a chance to ask some questions, too. Doors open at 6:15, seats in the Great Hall (1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle) are first come, first served. More at www.townhallseattle.org.
September 3, 2013 at 6:00 AM
In an “open letter to bigot diners” on the Mashiko website, Sato wrote recently that some customers were making “ignorant comments” to his staff and in online reviews, saying that there are no Japanese people working at the restaurant.
“Why yes, we do have a female sushi chef. She also happens to be Caucasian,” he wrote.
“Her name is Mariah Kmitta, and we are blessed to have her behind our sushi bar. Mariah has been wowing customers at Mashiko for over 12 years. She has an amazing following of devoted customers who only dine with us when Mariah is working…Should you refuse her fare based on her gender or race, you are an absolute fool.”
Several people of Japanese descent work at Mashiko, Sato wrote in the post, but it shouldn’t matter. “Would you refuse service at an Irish pub if your server didn’t speak with a fanciful brogue? You do realize that sometimes people in this great big melting pot may not have a look that accurately reflects their genetic makeup. Do you also insist on DNA tests wherever you go? Of course not. Stop being an ignorant racist.”
Mashiko customers applauded the letter on the website and on a Facebook post, which was widely shared and debated online.
A writer at Slate, though, said it seems like an oversimplification to say that race and gender and sexual orientation don’t matter:
“Mashiko, which has a Japanese owner, should not be accused of cultural appropriation. But if, hypothetically speaking, a group of white Americans opened a sushi restaurant and hired an all or mostly white staff, would race still “not matter”?” wrote L.V. Anderson.
“In that instance, race would matter, and quite a bit, because the owners would be capitalizing off of others’ culinary traditions and their own white privilege at the same time. It sounds great to say that everybody is equal or that you don’t see race, but it minimizes the persistent systemic racism that favors white people over everyone else.”
Sato told the West Seattle Herald that “It’s crazy, like 30,000 people looked at (the blog post). And before (the bigot letter) I posted about how smelt is great and I got like 100 people looking at it. I’m passionate about anti-racism, but I’m passionate about smelt too. I just hope people will eat smelt more and not be racist.”
June 10, 2013 at 2:42 PM
World Oceans Day, June 8, was a reminder to reflect on our relationship to wild fish and the dwindling numbers of many species. Can we stop plundering the oceans and still feed a world population rapidly approaching 9 billion?
In a new book, “The Perfect Protein: The Fish Lover’s Guide to Saving the Oceans and Feeding the World,” Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless and co-author Suzannah Evans tackle that big question, outlining the issues and presenting solutions. Sharpless will be in Seattle on Wednesday, June 12, at 7 p.m. at the Elliott Bay Book Company on Capitol Hill for a reading followed by a Q & A session.
The book also addresses the consumer’s dilemma: How can we find and choose responsibly caught seafood? It includes recipes from top chefs, among them Eric Ripert, of New York’s famed seafood restaurant Le Bernardin, and Hajime Sato, the owner of Mashiko, Seattle’s first sustainable sushi bar. Sato will also attend the Elliott Bay Book Company event.
In an interview on KIRO Radio’s “Let’s Eat” that aired June 8, Sato talked about his decision to carry only sustainable seafood at his West Seattle restaurant.
“I’d been teaching on different occasions and in class they began asking where fish come from. I had to study about it. I found out some were not sustainable. When I started to look into it, I began to feel like a hypocrite.” (more…)
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