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I am not Jewish but I like to Nosh

Updated: Sep 3, 2022

Let’s call this boy Josh. Doesn’t he look happy? Doesn’t he look so proud? Look at his Sushi. Don’t they look good considering, Josh was 11 when this picture was taken? Josh never made sushi before.

More importantly, did you notice the woman next to Josh? Did you notice how big her smile is?

The woman is Josh’s mom. Josh looks so proud to show his plate of sushi, but boy, his mom, she looks ecstatic, don’t you think?

This monthly public sushi-making class was started in January 2014. As of this writing, it has become the longest-running monthly sushi class in San Francisco. (note: during the pandemic, there was a period when the class was not scheduled.) Just like being featured in the Grammarly ad and getting 30 million views, I never intended to be the first sustainable sushi class company in the US, I never intended this public sushi class to be the longest sushi class in San Francisco. I was focusing on doing a fun, entertaining, educational sushi class one at a time. When I realized, it’s been eight years now. That’s all.

The class is intended for the general public. Or, I should say, it’s not exactly designed for small children. That being said, I’ve been saying it’s ok for parents to bring their children to the class, as long as they are accompanied by adults. As a result, there have been many children attended this sushi class.

So, when Josh attended the class, I was not that surprised. I always (or at least my intention is) to treat everyone the same, even children. True they require different attention, but overall, I don’t treat them like children because when I remember my childhood, I felt like a child when adults treated me like a child. I wanted adults to treat me like they treat other adults. This is my reasoning. Yes, I may use slightly different language and tone, but again, my intention is to treat everyone the same.

Once in a while, some class guests asked me, “Kaz, do you teach other classes?” I always said No, and then, started to wonder if I should teach a different class. So, I decided to do an advanced nigiri class. Nigiri is simple, but to make it great, it’s very difficult. It took me six months just to be able to make it look good. But to make it taste great takes a lifetime. No kidding. Really.

When I put the registration up, ten people signed up. When I greeted the class guests, I saw Josh and his mom entered the kitchen.

“He love the last class so much that he wanted to take this one also. He is so excited,” his mom told me.

Advanced nigiri class involved curing Mackerel, filleting the whole fish, and slicing fish for Nigiri. Seeing Josh shouting to his mom during the class with excitement made me happy. It made me feel it was worth it to do the advanced class.

After this advanced class, I received an email from his father.

“Josh requested you to be his cater for his Bar Mitzva. Do you do catering?” he asked.

“Yes, we do,” I replied.

Because Breakthrough Sushi is known for sushi classes, most of our clients did not know we do catering. One of the first catering events we ever hosted was a legendary private 40th birthday party at Computer History Museum for 200 guests.

Josh wanted all – rolls, sashimi, nigiri, tempura, teriyaki chicken, and beef. Of course, he wanted to roll your own sushi stations. The guest count was 60. The Bar Mitzvah is to be held at a community center in the suburb of San Francisco.

The third time is a charm

About one month before Josh’s Bar Mitzvah, he came back to attend yet another class. This time with his Dad. I was shocked because the class is the same. Well, It’s been the same class for over eight years.

“Josh, you are back to take the same class…?” I asked.

“He wanted to brush his sushi skill before his Bar Mitzvah,” his dad replied.

“Ahh, that makes sense.” Josh was doing much better than the first time, of course. This time, he was teaching his dad how to make a Rainbow roll. He looked confident.

Needless to say, Josh was the first one to show off his skill, making a beautiful Rainbow Roll. He held a plate, and walked around, looking so proud.

In my head, I am hearing a song by Tom Wilson, an actor who played Biff in the movie, Back To The Future, saying “I went to the Bar Mitzvah of my nephew Josh. Now, I am not Jewish, but I like to Nosh.”

Yes, Josh. I am not Jewish, but I do like to roll. So do you.


Sign up for Kaz’s monthly public sushi class in the San Franciso Bay Area

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