Hiroaki Tokuyama, master of the art of fermentation: “I chat with the bacteria”

Hiroaki Tokuyama, who has mastered the art of fermentation after many trials and mistakes, guarantees his guests true dining experience with the unique flavours he combines with his mastery of fermentation and creativity.

Gourmets from around the world line up for a unique experience at Tokuyama-zushi, a Japanese-style auberge specializing in fermented sushi or narezushi on the shores of Lake Yogo, Japan. The secret to Tokuyama-zushi’s popularity lies in the creativity of chef Hiroaki Tokuyama, who sees it as his mission to change prejudices about fermented foods by presenting them in new ways. For example funazushi successful chef, “Funazushi is usually served in thick slices, and the mushiness of the rice bed can be off-putting,” he says and continues, “I cut frozen funazushi quite thin and sandwich it between slices of crisply toasted bread, so it’s a real taste surprise.”

When asked how he accomplished such magic, Tokuyama humbly explains his efforts: “It’s not me, it’s the fermentation bacteria that do all the work,” he says, according to the Japan Times. “I ‘chat’ with the bacteria, keep close watch over the process and stop fermentation at just the right point so I can serve the dishes to my guests at the peak of perfection.”