March 1, 2013
A Blog in Honor of my Friend, Nobu
On yesterday’s blog, I wrote about attending a tribute dinner honoring Christophe Navarre, CEO of Moet Hennessy and my friend, Nobu Matsuhisa, the acclaimed and highly influential chef proprietor of Nobu and Matsuhisa restaurants located across five continents. I have known Nobu for many years and together, the two of us have spent a good deal of time in front of the camera. Perhaps you remember seeing him on my television show. The March issue of my magazine, Martha Stewart Living, features a wonderful story about Nobu with excellent recipes. In 2000, I traveled to Tokyo, Japan and met up with Nobu at the Tsukiji Market (pronounced Skee gee), the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. Walking through this amazing place with Nobu was simply thrilling! To see the video that we shot there, please click here. I was very pleased to honor Nobu last weekend. He is an extraordinary man who has single-handedly changed peoples’ perceptions of Japanese cuisine all around the globe. I hope you’ll enjoy this little blast from the past in honor of Nobu.
1 Many years ago, for a magazine and TV story, I worked side-by-side with Nobu in his original restaurant in New York City. He taught me how to make an excellent vegetable sushi roll.
2 We made gorgeous hand rolls.
3 And impeccably fresh sushi
4 We made other sushi rolls.
5 And enticing yellowtail sashimi
6 To congratulate my good work, Nobu presented me with my very own chef's jacket with my name embroidered on it - the very one I wore at his tribute dinner in Miami at the SoBe Wine & Food Festival.
7 Arigatou gozaimasu
8 Of course, Nobu made regular appearances on my television show, teaching us all how to prepare his fabulous Japanese creations.
9 In 2000, I traveled to Tokyo and toured Tsukiji Market with Nobu. It is a bustling place in the wee hours of the morning. Turret trucks, like these, zip around the market transporting goods.
10 The inner market is a feast for the eyes. It's where most of the wholesale business and the famous tuna auctions take place. This vendor sold nothing but octopus.
11 The market covers 54 acres and I had never seen so many kinds of fish!
12 There were all sorts of smoked fish for sale.
13 Three million pounds of fish are sold daily at Tsukiji!
14 The fish comes from local Japanese waters and from the waters of 60 other nations.
15 There are approximately 900 wholesale dealers doing business in this inner market.
16 These fish are still swimming, so yes, the fish is quite fresh!
17 I was drawn to these blow fish.
18 I even picked one up.
19 Nobu, who is quite a character, told me to kiss it.
20 This woman said she shucks 400 clams per hour! Just amazing!
21 This man was wrestling with a large tuna.
22 While this fellow was cutting his tuna into sushi restaurant sized slabs. Notice his long and razor-sharp blade, called oroshi-hōchō.
23 The tuna auction happens every morning, at 5am, except for Sunday, when the market is closed.
24 Tuna of all sizes is auctioned off to the highest bidder.
25 This is my dear friend, Momoko Sano, who is my faithful companion and guide whenever I am in Japan. This is the outer market, whose retail shops and restaurants cater to the public.
26 There are several shops that sell kitchen tools and Nobu took me to the one where he purchased his first sushi knife.
27 Eating a great sushi breakfast is a must when visiting Tsukiji. The fish could not be any fresher.
28 There was so much good food to be had.
29 This is tamagoyaki, a type of Japanese omelet, which is made by rolling together several layers of cooked egg. It was fabulous at the market.
30 Nobu and I shared several bites.
31 And we even toasted with some wonderful sake!