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Cookware 1

In the market for a nice Yanagiba that will accompany me on my journey to becoming a 4-Michelin-Star sushi chef

Fantality | Feb 13, 2015 10:41 PM

Hello all,
How has everything been going?
I have come back for another info digging before I make a Yanagiba purchase.
I have received much great info from you all last time I was here,
and that experience brought me back here craving some more of that awesomeness.
My previous thread was:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9820...
in which I came to a conclusion to use the workplace provided Yanagiba,
learning to use and sharpen the knife and maintain it properly before buying my own.
Now, I believe the time has come for me to pick and choose my partner.
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A little sushi experience background of me:
While I lived in Seattle, WA, I first started as a sushi helper.
I did most of the simple prep works such as:
cucumbers, wasabi, crab meat, spicy tuna, rice, etc.
I also made simple and basic rolls in the beginning
but as I got more experienced, I started making more complicated rolls as well.
I worked at that place for about 3 months.
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It was a while before I got back into the sushi world
after quitting the sushi helper job in Seattle.
From the top of my head, I would say an year and a half to possibly up to two years.
Then I joined a newly opening sushi restaurant as one of the five people sushi team.
I have now worked here for about seven months.
Of the five sushi men, one guy was a veteran sushi men reigning over us as a head.
The rest of us small fishes were all babies compared to him.
We worked as a team by doing the prep works together, making rice together, etc.
Other than the shared responsibilities mentioned, we had specific roles in the sushi bar.
The head chef was in charge of nigiri's, sashimi's and plating.
The second guy was in charge of ticket controls and made rolls here and there.
The third and fourth guys were specifically in charge of making rolls and passing them up.
I was the third guy and I really enjoyed my position
as it provided me with the opportunity to grow through repetition.
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Now, all of the small fishes other than me are gone.
The head chef is still holding down the fort strong.
Throughout the time, many changes were made to my schedule as well.
Right now, due to school and my 2nd job as a server,
I only work full day on Saturdays and Sundays, which is 4 shifts.
On Sunday mornings, I am the only one in the sushi bar taking care of everything myself:
rolls, sashimi's, nigiri's, handrolls, special sushi bar dishes, etc.
Saturday lunch and Sunday dinner, I work with another chef.
Saturday dinners, the head chef, the other chef mentioned above, and I are on duty.
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I recently had an interview at another sushi restaurant.
They had me make some rolls and nigiri's during the interview.
Had me come in couple days later to work a night shift to see how I worked.
They must have liked me, because they are offering a FT position.
During the training, which will last a week or two depending on how I do, I am worth $12.
After training, the manager said anywhere from $13 to $15 plus tips.
This is much better pay than the restaurant I work at right now
and I plan on giving them a two weeks notice soon.
I also recently quit my serving job so I will be going full time sushi chef at the new location.
I am pretty confident in myself to get $15/hr after the training is over.
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I just stripped naked in front of you guys and showed you everything about me.
Now you're responsible for giving me good knife recommendations!
Just kidding... I know I would get awesome comments from you guys anyways.
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So the dilemma is this.
To get yanagiba or a chef's knife?
I just love yanagiba but I am beginning to think if it's really the perfect tool for what I do,
which is mostly making rolls and a few nigiri's and sashimi's here and there.
For a heavy roll job, chef's knife seems more fitting. What do you guys think?
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Second dilemma.
The guys at the new sushi place told me to just get something cheap.
But knives are lifelong friends.
Why buy something cheap now and upgrade later
if you can get a good knife right away that will last decades?
Because of the potential of damaging and ruining the knife
through improper use, sharpening and care? Maybe.
I could get a cheap throw away knife that I can use for couple months.
Work on perfecting my skills so that I can give proper care to the good one from day one.
Decisions decisons...
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This is just a curious george question but what is the absolute best yanagiba brand?
Is there even a clear best brand? Or are there many best options to choose from?
I hear very good things about Masamoto. Is this the King of Kings?
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Recommend me some very nice Yanagiba's. It doesn't have to be very expensive ones but it can be. I am looking for value but also top notch quality. I am taking my career as a sushi chef seriously and I Will not hesistate to invest in my tools.
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PS - I am sorry :(
Sometimes I like to go on and on without knowing when to stop.
But I wrote all this up on my ipad. Pretty impressive! :)

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