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Mr. David Israelow who got the first prize at Washoku World Challenge 2018, talked about school days and the competition in this interview. Thanks for your support David-san!


Q1. Please introduce yourself


I am David Israelow, I come from New York and I am here for Hanami party!

*Interview was held at Asukayama park, one of the most popular place for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in Tokyo.


Q2. When do you enter TSA? And Why?


I went to TSA last year (2017) and I joined 8weeks program, because TSA is the only school which offers both Sushi and Washoku program in English.

*As of June 2022, we run International Sushi Chef course (5 weeks ).


Q3. How was your class?


It was great experience. I have learned a lot and  made great friends. I also had a lot of fun with practice and expanded my network in Japan.


Q4. What was the most exciting moment in our course?


I am not sure about one specific moment but in class I really enjoyed experience of having a chance to work with a lot of different fish and shellfish, and to work with skilled teachers.


Q5. What was the most challenging moment in our course?


I think one of the difficult thing in class was Dashimaki Tamago (Rolled Dashi Omelet), because we made them using big pan and we didn’t have much time to practice. Even for the first time we had used big pan and I don’t think I had enough time to master it yet.


Q6. Where did you stay while attending school? How was your accommodation?


When I came to Tokyo Sushi Academy, I stayed at Sakura House, its Tokyo based company that rents houses to local people and foreigners. I rented a private apartment in Monzen-Nakacho. 

The room was nice and I was able to walk to school so I enjoyed it.


Q7. Please tell us your recommended restaurant or place in Tokyo


There are so many amazing places to eat and drink in Tokyo.

I recommend two of my favorite restaurants.
Salmon & Trout in Shomokitazawa, and Ise-Sueyoshi in Azabu-Juban, a Kaiseki restaurant.


Q8. Please tell us about World Washoku Challenge which you participated this year in 2018


Washoku World Challenge is organized by ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Japan, and that’s competition that has been going on for 5 years and they invited Non-Japanese Chefs from all around the world and test themselves Washoku challenge.

I entered competition in semi-final round in New York City earlier this year (2018) in the theme was “Umami” and I had made Suimono (Soup) and also did knife skills. I won the semi-final round in New York City and I was invited to final competition in Tokyo in February 2018.

6 winners from cities round the world competed in Tokyo and we had made Nimono, Owan, and Fujidakamori.


Q9. How did you feel when you won the first prize?


I was really excited and honored and humbled to win the prize and to know that judges appreciated my hard work and efforts.


Q10. What is your future plan?


I do not have a plan. Now here in Japan I plan to learn more and more about Japanese Cuisine and culture, different techniques regarding cuisine in terms of cooking and ingredients prepared for fermentation Miso, Sake, Soy Sauce.

And I am learning about other things using with Japanese Cuisine such as Japanese Charcoal Binchotan, Konbu (Kelp) and Katsuobushi (Dried Bonito).


Q11. Any comment to our future students.


Ganbatte-kudasai! (Do your Best!)


10min Short Movie of Washoku World Challenge 2018


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