Nobuo Fukuda on American-Style Sushi and the Most Exciting Japanese Food in the U.S.
This is part two of my interview with Nobuo Fukuda, chef-owner of Nobuo at Teeter House. If you missed part one, where Nobuo explained what he misses about Japan and the difference between an American and a Japanese chef, read it here.
Favorite places to dine in Phoenix: Pho43, because, in my opinion, they have the best pho in town. And Lee's sandwiches, because it's a quick, fresh option with delicious pastries and a Vietnamese twist.
National/international chef you admire: Toshio Tanahashi "Geshinkyo" is a shojinryori chef who makes healthy, beautiful, and flavorful vegetarian food. He told me, "Most people eat food from the neck up (which means they care about appearance, aromas, and flavors), but I want to make food that people eat from the neck up and also from the neck down." He does everything himself: cleaning his small dining room, which seats about 12 at tables and six at the counter. He does the flower arrangements, lights the incense and cooks everything himself, so that's his "gochisou," which means loosely translates as "delicious" in Japanese but actual means "running around" or "making an effort." So I love his philosophy.
Buchanan Karei Karaage -- fried black back sole, blood orange vinaigrette, bone chips
Who's doing the most interesting Japanese food in the U.S. and what makes it so good?: Urasawa in L.A.. He offers super-high-quality sushi and the kaiseki experience without intimidating people. Hiro is so friendly that he makes everyone very comfortable.
When people in Japan eat sushi, one of the first things they often comment on is the rice. Why?: Rice is actually the main focus of sushi. It's used as the sauce for the fish.
Your favorite fish?: Nodokuro (Akamutsu) -- beautiful, silky-textured white fish with a sweet flavor behind the skin and a full-bodied flavor from the fat.