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How Two Master Chefs Are Redefining Omakase by Only Using American Fish

Local fish, delivered in a daily mystery box, powers the creativity at Odo in New York City

It’s the morning of another day at New York’s Odo and chefs Hiroki Odo and Seong-Cheol Byun have just received a mystery box of fish. A daily occurrence, the chefs don’t know which types of fish will be in the box until the delivery arrives, and it’s time to create the evening’s menu. What they know for sure is that the fish and seafood will all be local: the concept and pride of Odo’s omakse. American garfish (Byun’s favorite), mackerel from Boston, and bonito from New Jersey; by using only American fish, their mission is to change the future of omakase in New York.

“By imposing these constraints [for local fish] we manage to find new things,” says Byun, the sushi master of the two chef while Odo focuses on kaiseki cuisine. Though Odo is a kaiseki restaurant, Odo will be the first to tell you that sushi is the main attraction here. “I’m sort of taking a supporting role,” says Odo. “He stands under the spotlight and I build the stage he stands on.”

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