There’s certain food which it seems natural to cook at home, and others which we’re inclined to leave to chefs at restaurants. Sushi definitely falls into the second category.
One person who’s on a mission to change this and bring Japanese cooking to the kitchens of London is Yuki Gomi, who runs regular cookery courses from her home in Ealing. Born in Tokyo before cheffing in America and then coming to London as head of food development at Piccadilly restaurant Yoshino and at Japan Centre, she certainly has the expertise.
Despite her background, Yuki is adamant that she’s a home cook now, and that she keeps everything very simple. This is more or less true. Though her sushi demonstrations necessarily have many stages (cooking the sushi rice, making the dressing, making a Japanese omelette, cutting the sushi fillings, rolling the sushi, cutting the sushi), each one of them is straightforward and doable.
A mix of hands-on cooking, demonstrations and “here’s one I made earlier” ensure things move quickly enough to keep everyone interested whilst making sure everything is covered. And with class sizes of around six people, there’s plenty of opportunity to ask any questions. Yuki constantly drops in top tips (use a wet knife to cut the sushi) as well as anecdotes from her years as a chef, making it more like cooking with friends than an actual cookery lesson.
Having learned about sourcing sushi fish, that those strange omelettes do actually contain eggs, mastered the art of rolling (which is easier than it looks), and had a light sushi dinner with tea and wine, we leave clutching a copy of the recipes and feeling inspired to recreate the dishes at home. Surely that’s the sign of a good cookery lesson.
A class costs £65 per person and lasts about two and a half hours. Yuki also runs sushi classes for kids, and is launching new bento box classes where you get to take the boxes home with you at the end. Visit the Yuki’s Kitchen website for full dates and details.