Basic skills and knowledge are seeds of success

Cultural News, 2011 February Issue

Andy Matsuda’s Sushi School /Cutting board talk

By Andy Matsuda

Chef Andy Matsuda Sushi Chef Institute

Chef Andy Matsuda (Couetesy of Sushi Chef Institute)

Sushi was considered an expensive food in Japan until kaiten-zushi (conveyor belt sushi) restaurants became very popular there just 20 years ago. But before the 1950s and as far back as the Edo era, sushi was sold at food stalls just as food trucks do in Los Angeles today, and sushi was the food of the common people.

During the last 50 years, upscale restaurants in Japan began to include sushi in their regular menu, and their chefs made sushi very a sophisticated food in order to attract upper class clientele.  A similar trend was taking place in Los Angeles and New York in the 1990s, too. A few celebrity chefs were heavily promoted by the media, and their very expensive menu items were highly sought after by American sushi eaters.

But in reality, these high-class sushi restaurants are quite the minority in the U.S.  In fact, the majority of sushi restaurants in the U.S. are small businesses and are usually without chefs who have the basic skills and knowledge to provide sushi.

That is why I started Sushi Chef Institute in Los Angeles. We educate anybody who wants to become a sushi chef and provide the individual with strong fundamental skills and knowledge. Our school teaches the very basic things. Without basic skills, no one can become a celebrity chef.

Graduating from our two-month sushi training program is just the beginning of a professional life as a sushi chef. I guarantee that Sushi Chef Institute’s program will be the seed for success in the world of culinary arts.

My schedule of free sushi demonstrations at public libraries are as follows:

Feb 26 (Sat) 1:00 PM, La Canada Flintridge Library, 4545 North Oakwood Ave, La Canada Flintridge, CA 91011, (818) 790-3330

Mar 19 (Sat) 2:00 PM, Live Oak Library, 4153-55 East Live Oak Ave, Arcadia, CA 91006, (626) 446-8803

Mar 26 (Sat) 1:00 PM, Norwalk Library, 12350 Imperial Highway, Norwalk, CA 90650, (562) 868-0775

Apr 30 (Sat) 1:00 PM, San Gabriel Library, 500 South Del Mare Ave, San Gabriel, CA 91776, (626) 287-0761

Andy Matsuda is the founder and the chief instructor of Sushi Chef Institute in Los Angeles. For more information, visit or