Quick bites with:
Ikoma, Head Chef, Sushi Village
Photos and interview by Maureen Provencal
PQ: Food/wine philosophy in 25 words or less?
I: Number one is very fresh fish. You must always be checking the quality. This is most important in my job, to use the best quality only. If it is not good enough, it is not used. Also, I am always checking for the proper flavours in food and sauces.
PQ: One food you can’t live without?
I: Marinated black cod.
PQ: One ingredient you can’t live without?
I: Soy sauce, miso paste, Japanese vinegar and sake.
PQ: What food/drink should people be more open to trying?
I: Try some sushi that you haven’t had before.
PQ: One food you avoided as a child and now you love?
I: Shitake mushrooms.
PQ: Weirdest thing you’ve eaten?
I: In Japan I had blow fish.
PQ: Most memorable meal you’ve ever eaten?
I: In a Japanese hot springs where we ate Kaiseki food.
PQ: Exact moment you decided to become a chef?
I: At 10 years old. I watched a chef working and thought, that looks interesting. When I was 17, I was a dishwasher and would watch the chefs cooking. When I was 18 I went to cooking school.
PQ: What’s your solution for a last minute meal?
I: Anything I see in the fridge.
PQ: Best trend in food/restaurants?
I: Sushi fusion.
PQ: Greatest professional moment?
I: When I please my customers. Those are my greatest professional moments.
PQ: Do you dream of opening your own restaurant?
I: Yes, but not today.
PQ: What brought you to Whistler?
I: I came to work in Sushi Village because it offered a different type of atmosphere. I get to serve to clientele coming from all over the world.
PQ: Where would you go for your last meal in Whistler?
I: Sushi Village.
PQ: Who has been the most influential person on our cooking/career?
I: There have been many chefs in Japan and Canada who have inspired me.
PQ: What would you advise to anyone wanting to come into this industry?
I: I would tell them to come in and work in a kitchen, step by step.