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I Was A Shushi Man Essay, Research Paper

I was a sushi chef Before I decided to go back to school, I spent several years working at different jobs including drummer, singer, songwriter, salesman and sushi chef. I had my own recording studio and produced lots of commercial music. It was extremely exciting but tired. I had my own album republished but it was not very popular in the market. At the same time, my recording studio went bankrupted. I aware that I have to explore my ability in another field. Until about five years ago I moved to Texas from Taiwan; I was hired as a chef in a Japanese restaurant and had been trained to make excellent sushi. I finally realized being a chef was not easy because it took a great amount of both physical and mental strength and energy in order to do this job successfully. I had to be in the kitchen every morning by nine o clock to prepare the food for whole day. I cooked rice, washed the vegetables, defrosted the meats and seafood and cut the raw fish into nice big pieces and then displayed them in the refrigerator on the sushi bar. At the mealtime, I would go out of the kitchen and stood beside the lead chef by the sushi bar, waiting for any orders and demands from the lead chef. The time I stood behind the chef, I learned a lot about the process and memorized the recipe for making sushi. Three months later, I was able to take order straight from customer by my own. The Japanese food requires a beautiful and colorful decoration and keeping the food looking delicate and desirable. A knife was often used to do cutting and making various ornamentation on the sushi. It was very difficult to cut every piece of raw fish perfectly. I had to make sure the textures on the fish are absolutely identical, and the size had to be in the exact proportions. The rice that is attached to the raw fish is quite glutinous with each other and it takes practical skill to cut in one motion to separate the California roll or other similar roll. My hands were mostly in and out the sticky rice and water all day, molding to small portions of rice and raw fish to make sure they were ready for customer on time. At time I also usually felt as if I could not breath due to strong scent from wasabi (the green mustard that goes with the sushi). I had to stand on my feet for at least ten hours or more a day. During the busy hours, I not only had to speed up to make sushi but it was also important that I kept up nice communication with my customers. People always like to sit by the bar and they were very interested in how I did my job. Many questions were flowing around me like butterflies, such as, what kind of the fish I was using, how did I say the names of all kinds of the fish in both Japanese and English. I had to be very patient with people by answering them how to use chopsticks and so forth. Sometimes I felt like I was teaching a history class of oriental culture. Customers eyes always focused on my hands since they liked to watch each step what I did. This gave me a lot of pressure and sometimes I felt very nervous to stand on the bar.

I started to have a lot of good friends, who I knew them at the sushi bar as my customers. Since my previous job was a salesman, I knew how to keep a good relationship with them and earned more tips from them. Especially during the weekend, they all came to the sushi bar for party. People were crazy about the Sake Bon , that is very strong alcoholic drink mixed with sake (Japanese rice wine) and beer. There are three steps to drink Sake Bon: the first step is to rise a small cup of warm sake by left hand and another bigger cup of icy beer by right hand, then drop the whole cup of sake into the beer. At last, drink the whole thing and let the bottles up immediately. People had to call the number followed the steps and drink together. That was the climax moment of the sushi party in sushi bar every Friday and Saturday night. The idea was so popular and made a lot of money for the restaurant. The worst part for the chef was we all expected to drink Sake Bon or other Japanese beer with our customer to show our respect to them and maintain a good friendship with them. After I drank several cups of Sake Bon, I can t remember how many times that I felt tipsy at the climax moments. Then I still need to deal with those messy works until last minute. When the party was over, I was also responsible for cleaning up. Although I was usually exhausted by the whole day work, I still had to consume my energy to the last end. Another issue that let me feel frustrated was this job required to work seven days a week, which made my life extremely difficult and weary. Besides the physical tiredness, this job made me away from my family and girl friend. I was too busy to spend time with them. Whenever I saw families and couples to visit our restaurant during weekends, I always hope that could be my own party as well. I felt very lonely and suppressed in the small cubicle without sunlight and blue sky every day.


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