Raw deal

“Women are too temperamental” to be sushi chefs

Women have been excluded from the world of sushi for a number of ludicrous reasons, including the temperature of their hands — but not this trailblazing chef, Nakaba Miyazaki.

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The world of traditional sushi has long been governed by men. Over the years, women have been barred from making sushi for a number of ludicrous reasons, from the heat of their hands to a belief the variations in their “physical condition or mood” will affect their palettes, and concerns about their use of perfume. But at Sushi Yasuda in Manhattan, renowned for its commitment to classical sushi, female chefs have been welcomed along with men since the restaurant was founded in 1999 … that is, if they’ve got what it takes for the job.

Nakaba Miyazaki is one of the chefs currently at the helm of Sushi Yasuda. Originally from Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan, she discovered her passion for sushi and moved to the U.S. to pursue a career in culinary arts. Today, Miyazaki is at the top of her field, working alongside master chef Mitsuru Tamura. Her incredible energy and passion for sushi are a testament to one of Sushi Yasuda’s founding principles: that world-class sushi making requires commitment and dedication, but most certainly doesn’t have a gender.

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