We catch up with Chef Marlus Saiki and get his take on the future of the industry
1. Can you tell us about your current role?
I currently work at the Zephyr Seafood & Nikkei restaurant since 2015.
I'm the restaurant's chef and I own a channel on youtube called Soul Chefs, it contains 23,000 subscribers.
2. What were some of the highlights of this position?
I participated in a championship of sushi nationwide, was held in the city of São Paulo in the year 2016, I had obtained a great result reaching the 6th place.
I did several courses brought to Brazil by Nagoya Sushi School, and who minister was Hirotoshi Ogawa, director of AJSA (All Japan Sushi Association).
In 2017 I did an internship at Maido, considered actually the best restaurant in Latin America, I also did a proficiency test in sushi, where I had the happiness of being certified and authorized to make sushi inside and outside of Japan.
3. Can you tell us a little about your career before this current position?
I started my career at age 16 at the restaurant Tatibana, located in Curitiba, Paraná, where I worked for 6 years. After that I went to Joinville, Santa Catarina where I stay for a short time, until the restaurant where I am currently working opened, and now I'm the chef of the team.
4. What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the industry at the moment?
I see as one of the biggest problems of the market the lack of encouragement and preparation of professionals who don't have the information and training necessary to work in the area. I am also very disappointed with the famous sushi buffets, because they lose all the quality and freshness of the fish.
5. What do you see as a possible solution to the growing shortage of chefs?
In my point of view, one of the solutions to this shortage would be the old-time chefs instructing, training the new ones, and/or patronizing them to pass on all the knowledge they need to become successful chefs and world reference.