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Wit, Wisdom and Recipes from a Sushi Pioneer

A memoir by Shiro Kashiba

ISBN: 978-0-9844576-2-5
Fall 2011
$20.00 US/$24.50 CAN

A singular history of Japanese cuisine in America's Pacific Northwest, a personal account of one immigrant's influence on local ingredients in traditional dishes.

Renowned Seattle Sushi Chef Shiro Kashiba used to walk to the city's fishing piers in the 1960s to retrieve buckets of unwanted salmon roe and pesky Puget Sound octopus from the fishermen. He'd hike the beaches of the Pacific Northwest to gather geoduck before there was a market for the shellfish. Chef Shiro saw treasure where others saw trash. And through this sushi chef's eyes, readers can discover the amazing bounty of the Pacific Northwest.

In this revealing cookbook/memoir, Chef Shiro recounts his early days apprenticing in Tokyo, where he worked grueling hours without pay, washed dishes and slept in the backroom of a prestigious Ginza sushi shop. He tells of his decision to come to the United States with little more than an introductory letter, and of his ultimate success in Seattle and reputation across America.

But the story doesn't stop there. While Shiro settles into his role as Seattle's premier sushi chef, he develops a deep appreciation for the local delicacies of his new home. Soon he begins to replace expensive Japanese imports with fresher and more delicious local delicacies. Goodbye bluefin, hello albacore. Shiro tells fascinating and often humorous stories about the region's offerings: his first encounters with geoduck (some say he was the first to serve it raw), the world's tastiest sea urchin, hunting for matsutake mushrooms in the Cascades, a twelve-course meal of silvery ocean smelt, and much more.

Copyright © 2011 by Chin Music Press Inc.