Name: Naoki Fukushima
Country of origin: Japan
Chef Naoki of Kujin has demonstrating his success as a Washoku chef.
Washoku Lovers met him at his restaurant, Kujin, in Elizabeth Bay.
Washoku Lovers: How long have you been cooking?
Chef Naoki: I’ve been cooking for 11 years and I’ve been in Sydney for 9 of them.
WL: So you trained in washoku in Japan?
Chef Naoki: I learned washoku in Japan, I started with just cutting vegetables! Then I learned the teppanyaki style of cooking.
WL: What do you think of washoku outside of Japan?
Chef Naoki: Non Japanese people think about the recipe, how it is cooked and what ingredients go into it. Japanese people are accustomed to it and don’t really think about it. It’s a bit of a waste. I like hearing what non Japanese people say!
WL: Do you have a favourite or signature dish?
Chef Naoki: My signature dish is tamagoyaki (Japanese omelette). I make it on the teppan. Please say that it’s delicious (laughs). You definitely have to eat it with grated radish and ponzu sauce.
WL: What do you thinking about mixing washoku with other foods?
Chef Naoki: There’s so many other cultures in Sydney, I think it’s interesting to mix them up. I was really surprised when I first came to Sydney because there are so many other cuisines everywhere.
WL: What chef do you really admire?
Chef Naoki: The chef I first worked with back in Japan. I’m really grateful to him because now I’m a chef with my own restaurant.
WL: What advice do you give to anyone who wants to enjoy washoku?
Chef Naoki: Washoku isn’t just sushi! Washoku is a lot of different foods, like teppanyaki! (laughs) Eat a lot of different things so you can try everything.