Go on an "edible journey" with Chef Bun Lai

BunLai.jpgThe Restaurant Tours:
Featuring Bun Lai, Miya's Sushi

Here’s a little pre-tour teaser and a sample of what the edible journey I am going to be taking people on will be like:  People often ask me what I do and my simple answer is sushi, but if I have a few minutes and I sense that they want to hear it from me, this is how I explain it:  In my cuisine, I use the technique of sushi as a medium to delve into ideas of what it is to be human. For example, to create my "Tyger Tyger Burning Bright Roll," I asked myself, "If sushi were to have been invented somewhere else what might have it been like?" Since geneticists know that we went from being hominids to humans along the rift valley in Africa, I figured that there was no place more important to the history of our species than that region: so, there began our fantasy sushi.  This recipe is inspired by the torrid love affair that the Queen of Sheba enjoyed with King Soloman.  The ingredients that make up this sushi, reflects the characters of this story and their cultures.  
As significantly, since the traditional cuisine of sushi is destroying our oceans, we do our best to not use ingredients that are overfished or has in its production, a negative impact on the environment.  As a result, half of our vast menu is vegetable centered; the other half does not utilize traditional sushi ingredients such as Toro, Bluefin Tuna, Big Eye Tuna, certain Yellowfin, Unagi, Red Snapper, Maine Sea Urchin, Octopus and so on. Instead, we've created dishes that include unconventional sushi ingredients such as Catfish, that are grown in confined ponds that make it virtually impossible to cross contaminate other species or destroy the aquatic ecosystem around it, as Salmon and Eel farming does.   
Just as importantly, Miya's Sushi appeals to a growing population of sushi lovers who care enough about our planet to change the way they eat; they realize that our general consumerism, along with our zeal for exotic seafood, is sucking the breath out of our oceans.  
A lot of people think what I do is fusion but I don’t agree with that.  That would mean that everything is fusion then, since whatever people eat has been fusing for as long as human beings have been traveling.  
I see our work at Miya's Sushi as the logical progression of sushi as it evolves into food that is internationalist; more expressive of a human race that is educated enough to respect each other’s differences and to appreciate that we are, in the end, family.  In every recipe of mine cultures harmonize in ways that the world itself has not figured out how to do yet.  There is no religion where food is not used as an expression of the holy.  Food helps us aspire to be more.  Food must be idealistic and romantic.  And that is why man cannot live on bread alone.