Interview with Daisuke Nakazawa

DigiLetter: What kind of sushi do you focus on at the restaurant?

Daisuke Nakazawa: I want customers to have nigiri sushi (hand-pressed rice with a piece of fresh fish on top). That’s why we don’t serve Miso soup, sashimi, or sushi rolls. Once, a customer asked me, “ Do you have California rolls?” I responded, “No! … but spicy tuna roll is my favorite! (laughs).” I believe there is no comparable restaurant in NY. I invest more energy into making sushi. At Nakazawa, we serve an omakase (chef’s choice) course. This means great effort is given to procuring wild fish, ensuring the flavor of the rice, and controlling the temperature of the sushi, the aroma, and our customer service. I’m also focused on entertainment and pairing sake/alcohol with sushi. The sushi counter is my theater. I greatly enjoy having a good time with the people who dine here. I really want everyone to enjoy my nigiri sushi! Domo arigato!

DL: What inspired you to start writing your DigiLetter?

DN: It is very good opportunity to explain to everyone about the concept of Nakazawa and why I wanted to have my own restaurant. If you know how much time is spent preparing one piece of sushi and learn what traditional sushi is, you can better appreciate the taste of sushi. Personal knowledge and understanding of the art of sushi will inspire your five senses. I will talk a lot about sushi and fish, restaurant management, my training history/process and how I arrived at having my own restaurant. I also want to share information about one of my goals, which is creating a large market for sashimi quality fish in the US.

DL: What, if anything, has proven instrumental to your success thus far?

DN: I would say it’s all about how serious you are. Even if you have an innate ability and do something you think you need to do everyday, without giving it enough attention you cannot reach another level. The key to success is that you have to be 100% serious about wanting it.

DL: What kind of readers do you hope will subscribe?

DN: I would like to give people a variety of information not only about sushi, but also about the fish industry, being a sushi chef, a manager of a restaurant, and personal insights to help them reach their goals. My life changed when I buckled down and became serious. I hope that any one of those subjects can be inspiring to readers even if their aspirations are not related to sushi.