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Sushi is a Japanese cuisine that has become a culinary favorite in countries around the world. While individual duties can vary by restaurant, most sushi chefs tend to bring passion and innovation to their work. According to CNN, the annual median salary for culinary school graduates is $50,600.
Safety and Sanitation Compliance
A sushi chef must be an expert in the food safety regulations and procedures that apply to his specialty. Regularly assessing the quality of ingredients is a must for a sushi chef. Ensuring that tools such as thermometers and pH meters are in good working order will help with this process. A sushi chef must also maintain a clean work environment in order to reduce the possibility of food contamination, and he must regularly wash his hands and cooking utensils. All sushi chefs are required to know their local area's food safety regulations in order to remain in compliance (See References 2).
Preparation Is Key
Raw fish may be the primary ingredient in a sushi dish, but that doesn't mean that adequate preparation didn't need to happen before a dish was served. A sushi chef must take regular inventory of his restaurant's food supply, including fish, rice and other materials. He must also ensure that there are adequate amounts of ingredients for the soups and sauces that many customers have come to enjoy from sushi restaurants.
Creativity in the Kitchen
As a master of culinary arts, a sushi chef must know the signature dishes of his specialty, but he should also be able to innovate in the kitchen. Conceptualizing new dishes and unleashing his inner creativity will excite his customers and give them new reasons to return to his restaurant. He can achieve this by combining different ingredients or creating entirely new recipes. A sushi chef may also display his creative side by finding new ways to garnish his food presentations.
Sushi Chef Training
Becoming a sushi chef requires extensive training. An aspiring sushi chef can attend a culinary school that specializes in sushi and other Japanese cuisines in order to best position himself for his future occupation. As sushi has become more popular outside of Japan, more schools and programs have gained notoriety in the United States and around the globe. In the past, the typical education for an aspiring sushi chef could last from 8 to 10 years. Today, however, an aspiring sushi chef can complete his culinary education in as little as two years.
M. Skylar Ezell has been writing about politics, entertainment, urban culture and career-related topics since 2007. His communications work for Fortune 500 companies in health care, technology and hospitality has resulted in international recognition, including the Association for Talent Development BEST Award and Achievers Global Award. He is a graduate of Georgia State University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and public relations.