Mikuni chefs in battle of the sushi brothers: Photo essay
We have all heard of "sibling rivalry." But when the siblings in question are both experienced sushi chefs at the ever-popular Mikuni family of restaurants, well… that phrase takes on a whole new meaning. Last month, Mikuni Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar hosted "Judgment Day": a battle between Chef Kotaro “Taro” Arai and his brother, Chef Naomichi “Nao” Arai to see whose culinary creations would win over the participating tasters. Earlier this week, Nao (who had lost the first Judgment Day) challenged his brother to a sushi rematch at Mikuni’s Roseville location.
Guests at this week’s Judgment Day "Round 2" were treated to a blind tasting of recipes from the brothers, and I was lucky enough to receive an invitation. The other guests and I enjoyed four courses, featuring eight recipes in all. Each course was paired with wine from Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.
Although Arai family members described the rivalry between the brothers as friendly, Taro admitted that he and Nao often disagree over what dishes will do well with their restaurant guests. "We’ll just see whose recipes they like more.” Attendees were asked to score each dish and at the end of the night, the winner was… Chef Nao! The brothers are already planning a tie-breaking sushi battle: "Judgment Day Round 3."
Here’s a peek into the evening’s food and fun.
Disclosure: Mikuni Restaurant Group, Inc. provided me two passes to this event. However my opinions are my own, always will be. You can find more stories and photos over at my food + travel blog www.KitchenTravels.com Stop by and say hello!