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Why a Former Masa Apprentice Doesn’t Serve Sushi

Chef David Schlosser’s Michelin-starred omakase tackles moray eel and sea cucumbers

“Having a good teacher is pretty much everything,” says chef David Schlosser. “Because you really are a subject of your environment.” Schlosser was lucky enough to land alongside restaurateur Georges Blanc at his three-Michelin-star restaurant in Vonnas, France. Not long after, Schlosser became an apprentice under Masa Takayama.

“The importance of having somebody like Masa early on [in your career] does a couple things to you,” says Schlosser. “It sets the standard for what’s to come after you were to leave somebody like him, and it teaches you passion and heart.” For Schlosser, passion and focus are what propel Masa to that higher level while there are thousands of sushi chefs around the world.

Still, at Schlosser’s Los Angeles restaurant Shibumi, diners won’t find sushi. “Ninety percent of Japanese restaurants in the United States have sushi on the menu, and 90 percent of Japanese restaurants in Japan do not; so we don’t serve sushi.”

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