Pontus Johansson
Pontus Johansson, a Swedish sushi chef, took second place with his “Northern Light” reindeer sushi.



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October 2008

Food Fun / Events & Travel

EAT-JAPAN Sushi Awards

Page 2: Runner Up Sushi Chefs

This is Page 2 of a two-page article. Click on the black links below to visit Page 1.


The Runners-Up Sushi Creations

You can see that it was a memorable dinner:

2nd Place
Pontus Johansson
Pontus Sushi, Malmö, Sweden
Dish: Northern Light

This inventive and talented young sushi chef was selected as sole winner of the Nordic Sushi Championships from sushi bars across Scandinavia. His sushi, Northern Light, is distinctively Swedish, using raw reindeer filet instead of fish. The reindeer is garnished with its traditional Swedish accompaniments: crème fraîche, Blenheim orange (Swedish autumn apple) and dried lingonberry. A final Swedish touch: elderflower garnish.

Reindeer Sushi
Fusion cuisine: reindeer, with its typical Swedish garnishes, on a pad of vinegared rice.
Foie Gras Sushi
“Continental” sushi made with smoked duck,
foie gras and balsamic vinegar.

3rd Place
Bryan Emperor
Mr. Jones, New York City
Dish: Sakura Smoked Duck Sushi with Foie Gras and Balsamic Vinegar

This flamboyant Wall Street banker recreated himself as a high-flying Japanese chef, winning the U.S. Sushi Championship and wowing America with his unique culinary style. In this modern creation, Bryan gave duck breast a distinctively Japanese flavor by smoking it in cherry blossom wood chips.

4th Place
Shinya Ikeda
Yumi, London
Dish: Touch of Avant-Garde

Beginning his culinary career when he was just 15, Chef Ikeda has been head sushi chef at London’s established Yumi restaurant since 2002. While his sushi may have appeared more traditional than its ultra-contemporary competitors, this lightly-grilled, marinated salmon sushi with its accompaniment of tosa-vinegar jelly and black olive gave it a cloak of dazzle and avant-garde-like innovation.

Gourmet Sushi
Classic elements—salmon, lotus root—combine with the new, including shimmering tosa-vinegar jelly.
Smoked Salmon Sushi
A jeweled fish, with a cucumber “tail.”

5th Place
Takayuki Nakamura
Otaru Masasushi, Hokkaido, Japan
Dish: Jewelly Fish

Having dedicated almost his entire life to sushi-making in Japan’s seafood mecca, Hokkaido, this Japanese chef has honed his skills to the highest level. Smoked salmon, Dover sole and cod liver topped with ikura, cubes of cucumber, paprika and jelly gave this stunning sushi the appearance of a bejeweled fish, with cucumber pieces for a tail.

6th Place
Silla Bjerrum
Feng Sushi, London
Dish: Cornish Mackerel with Danish
Tamago Nigiri

The first-ever female chef to contest the Sushi Awards, Danish-born Silla has been making sushi for 15 years, in both London and Tokyo. She is a co-founder of London-based chain, Feng Sushi. Scandinavian influences of seasonal fish and vegetables were evoked in this sushi of line-caught Cornish mackerel with herbed egg “stand,” a Danish version of tamago. A horseradish-infused cucumber pickle was served alongside.

Danish Sushi
“Scandinavian sushi”: mackerel, dill and horseradish-infused pickles.
Russian Sushi
Squares of crab, salmon and sea bream are stacked in a stunning nori wrap.

7th Place
Denis Yun
Yakitoriya, Moscow
Dish: United Flavour

This young, talented chef, one of Russia’s biggest names in sushi, is a two-time winner of the prestigious Sushi Skills Contest held at the Moscow Food Show. Despite the differences between Russian and Japanese cuisine, in his dish, Denis aimed to find a unity. Using crab, salmon and sea bream, a Russian taste was incorporated with an essentially Japanese concept and tradition. (Denis was unable to attend; his recipe was recreated by Sushi Master Takanori Kurokawa from Soseki in London.)


The Seven Samurai

Sushi Chefs

The Seven Samurai with winner Mitsunori “Nori” Kusakabe at center, holding certificate.


For More Information

The event was principally sponsored by Kikkoman. EAT-JAPAN, organizer of the competition, is a London-based company for the promotion of Japanese food, drink and culture in the U.K. While all events are in the U.K. (come to the U.S., please!) there is a wealth of information on Japanese food and drink at www.eat-japan.com.

Contact EAT-JAPAN via the website for information on next year’s show.




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