Dig In: The Women Behind The Sushi Revolution



"Women's hands are warmer than men's that they're not suitable to handle raw fish"

Have you ever heard such a claim? In one of the most male dominated cultures in the world, Japan carries a very strong preference toward males in the hospitality industry. Traditional Japanese chefs can come up with a number of reasons why raw fish should be predominantly handled by men. In the documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi," the son of Chef Jiro states: "The reason is because women menstruate. To be a professional means to have a steady taste in your food, but because of the menstrual cycle, women have an imbalance in their taste, and that's why women can't be sushi chefs." (WSJ)


Well, Niki Nakayama (Japanese-American female chef and owner of n/naka, a two Michelin star kaiseki restaurant in Los Angeles) did not succumb to this long-time stereotype. Since 2011, n/naka has maintained its status as one of the most difficult restaurants to book in Los Angeles.


Kaiseki is the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine, where multiple courses of beautifully decorated and carefully chosen seasonal delicacies are served. The courses include more than just raw fish, and require highly attuned senses to achieve a perfect balance of taste and presentation throughout the entire meal of a dozen or more dishes.


In her defiance against both traditional cultural and gender norms, Nakayama has successfully proven that female chefs are just as capable as men to handle this delicate Japanese cuisine.


Mamakoo believes that women's achievements are to be celebrated not only today, but every day to empower and celebrate women in the hospitality industry and in every profession.

𝘔𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘰𝘰 - 𝘓𝘰𝘴 𝘈𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘴
2021 mamakoo

Photo 📷 @nnakarestaurant @nikinakayama


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