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What it Takes to Master the Craft of Sushi

A new series explores the work ethic, artistry, and human emotions behind dedicated artisans in the food world

What does it take to become a master? In a brand new video series, called Shokunin (which means "dedicated artisan" in Japanese), Eater follows New York sushi chef David Bouhadana as he visits food-focused individuals hard at work honing their crafts. From a fourth-generation fisherman to an expert knife maker, Bouhadana’s subjects are passionate and fastidious, refiners of traditional techniques and pioneers of new ones.

First up, Bouhadana visits Oona Tempest, a sushi apprentice undergoing an intensive chef training process at Tanoshi Sushi in New York City’s Upper East Side. Apprenticeship plays a pivotal role in Japanese food culture; chefs spend their careers focused on one discipline, learning and advancing as they rise through the ranks. To begin training at all, with the goal of becoming a master after many years of work, one must be taken under the wing of an established master.

Watch as Bouhadana talks with Tempest and her master, chef Toshio Oguma, about sushi apprenticeship and working for love of craft rather than money.

More episodes of Shokunin | Subscribe to Eater on Youtube