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Culinary Central

Fix Me Some Sushi!

September 4, 2015 Le Cordon Bleu General, Minneapolis/St. Paul 0 Comments

I am a man of food and drink. As a tall, big guy with varying tastes I like to think of myself as at home with backyard grilled hotdogs, as I am at a Michelin star restaurant taking down a twelve-course meal. One of my favorite styles of food is Japanese, and of course with that, the almighty sushi.

Sushi is a mortal occupation. Lovers of fine cuts and fresh seafood will travel the lands, seek out eight seat restaurants, break their banks, and savor each lovely, precious bite. I am no different. If you are like me, someone who loves traveling the world in favor of the best possible dish but can’t make a living off it, look no further than your local sushi heroes.

I had been checking out dishes from one of my local sushi chefs, Billy Tserenbat, on Facebook and I was often in awe, bewildered, or just simply drooling over his work. He works at Sushi Fix, a Wayzata based restaurant about 20 minutes from downtown Minneapolis. After lurking for long enough, I reached out to Billy and over the course of a year we chatted back and forth until I was ultimately invited to meet him and experience his hospitality.

Tserenbat is a world traveler, a man who has visited Tsukiji Market, the world’s largest fish market, and has seen the famous Suntory Yamazaki Distillery and Nikka Whiskey Factory. These places are where the best of the best products come from. Let me assure you, he takes all this to heart when his products come through the door.

I arrived on a busy Thursday (although, like any good sushi restaurant, they are always busy) and was greeted by Billy. He is a medium built, stout man who cannot stop smiling. Most of the time he is talking with customers at the bar as he slices and arranges works of art, but I got the chance to speak with Billy when he took the time to come sit at our table for a proper introduction and some light business talk. Then he was back to his busy line.

First thing, whiskey was brought to the table. I tasted a few brands, all of varying flavor. Some had a bold taste with a dark tincture in the glass, while others were subtle with hints of caramel and vanilla. I highly recommend the Yamazaki 12 yr. ($18), a very calm whiskey with a slight spicy aftertaste. Wonderful! Although I did taste some very fine whiskeys, by no means did I try any of the high-end spirits. The price tag can hit $500 dollars a shot! Talk about breaking the bank.

After a few spirits, sushi and sashimi arrived at the table. Large, generous portions of sashimi (four pieces) for an excellent price ($10-$15) were met with beautiful platters of rolls, including a Tiger roll and Number 9 roll – which were paired with some excellent cold sake. The wasabi’s bite was quenched by a cool, fresh Masumi Junmai Daiginjo sake.

It’s easy to see that Billy is a man obsessed with quality as he travels everywhere to ensure he has the best items for his restaurant. For any chef, it is gratifying to be in his presence and experience his food. Yet he makes his attitude and menu available to even the most amateur sushi eaters. His wonderful house-prepared cocktails are a big attraction. So while patrons sip tasty drinks, they may also discover the light and crispy tempura shrimp and eventually be enticed to try the assorted sushi platter - a wonderful sample of the freshest ingredients tailor-made to suit any client.

Finding a sushi restaurant you can spend quality time at is like finding a vacation home. You look forward to going there, disappear in luxury, and return feeling pampered and exhilarated. Searching for that home, that place you can trust and love is another ordeal. Research your local area. I know you will find an excellent place just as I did. When you do, love and respect it. Then you can always get your Fix.

Zane Zimbelman & Chef Edwin "Auggie" Austreng
Le Cordon Bleu College of Minneapolis / St. Paul

Check out this youtube video on "How to Make Futomaki" by the Chefs of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uxKI8Fvdkc

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