Friday, August 19, 2011
Bun Lai takes Miya's sushi on the road to promote Sustainable Sushi
I know Sushi is not even close to my usual topic, but Bun is a cool guy running an unbelievable sushi place who has decided to try and bring about change in his industry. I have known Bun for close to forty years, and he is completely crazy. His mother used to pack sushi in his lunch bag when we were in elementary school. He runs the best restaurant in New Haven called Miya's,and he happens to make sushi. A couple of years ago Miya's under Bun's direction changed their menu to only carry sustainable sushi. The result was their food got even better! This change was brought about because of conscience, but resulted in improvement because it forced the introduction of new and unique flavors into sushi that had never imagined before. Did I mention that he also makes his own flavored Sake that will dazzle your taste buds and kill your brain cells? Awesome!
Word of Miya's has spread, and afforded Bun the opportunity to spread the word of good responsible sushi. He has jumped at this opportunity to be the Johnny Appleseed of sushi. I could go on, but I will let the Man himself fill you in:
Next week, Chef Pablo, Nate and I will be leaving via RV to Seattle where I will be a keynote speaker for the American Fisheries Society’s 141st Annual Meeting. We will be teaching my sustainable sushi recipes to sushi chefs from five Seattle restaurants. Original recipes are proprietary and are the chef's gold but ours were created to be shared so that people would be able to eat sushi in a way that was kinder to the planet. Fifteen years ago, I created the sweet potato sushi roll which can now be found in almost every sushi restaurant in America. The historical significance of the sweet potato roll is that it showed people, for the first time, that sushi didn’t have to be made from seafood. It was a small step towards the sustainable sushi that we do today. Ideas can spread rapidly. With this trip, we plan to be the Johnny Appleseeds of sustainable sushi. We will introduce people to a more sustainable way of thinking about sushi and these ideas will ripple around the world. On the final dinner for the event, I will take 800 dinner guests on a gustatory journey (which will be a lot like being on a time machine); they will experience the future of sushi; made with hyper local sustainably farmed or caught ingredients. During the trip, we will only be purchasing foods that are organic; also, we plan to forage and fish invasive species on a daily basis. Thanks for all of your support! Nobody ever makes a difference without the help and support of many. We couldn’t do what we do without you! Thank you!
Good luck in your travel Bun! Wherever you are cooking I will be there!