Welcome to WORD OF MOUTH with Leiti Hsu on HeritageRadioNetwork.org! Leiti, a fixture in NYC dining culture, is joined by #PEOPLEWELIKE Sushi Chef John Daley, live in-studio. This Masa and 15 East alum owns New York Sushi Ko, an 11-seater spot in the Lower East Side. We’ll get to know him beyond numerous mentions in top press like GQ and The NYT about the “Sushi Bro” — so called by Alan Richman because he’s a 6’2″ tall white guy, the unlikeliest fellow you’d expect to find behind a sushi counter. John shares with us show-worthy techniques involving heavy use of his blowtorch and tools as ordinary as a hand blender and a chinois. They’ll talk about the time he didn’t get the gig during a stage (kitchen equivalent of a job interview) with April Bloomfield. And, why getting fired can be a good thing, even when it’s completely your fault!
This week, special morsel at the top of the hour: We catch Bon Appetit Web Editor Matt Gross, calling in live from Taiwan. They talk a little Taiwan history to begin to understand why the Taiwanese are one of the most food-obsessed peoples in Asia and perhaps the world.
“For Japanese food- or at least sushi- if you’re going to adulterate it, do so with the utmost integrity.” [22:10]
“Some of these plates need to have that ‘slurpability.’ A lot of the first two courses are almost profiling dishes for me to see where the customer’s at. We put down a small fork and chopsticks for first course, and now you even could just pick up first course and slurp it. A lot of times, I see how they interact with their food. Are they afraid or are they hesitant? Do they grab the chopsticks or do they grab the fork…then you can move on with the omakase.” [24:45]
“There’s a sense of community that the Tsukiji Market offers the entire chef-ing community in Tokyo. So every day, every chef, sees each other…so it’s like that guy gets here at 7:30, that guy gets here at 8, we’ve been here since 6 shopping.” [27:30]
“I said, ‘Mom, can we have Chinese food tonight?’ not realizing the financial perils we were in at the time.’ And she goes, ‘You want Chinese food? Go work at a Chinese restaurant. And so I did.'” [41:50]
— John Daley on Word of Mouth