CCTEC Culinary Arts students learning the Art of Sushi Making at Sushi Lover in Vineland, New Jersey
Cumberland County Technical Education Center Culinary Arts and STRIVE student’s had the unique opportunity to learn the art of sushi making from a local restaurant owner. On February 1, 2016 CCTEC students, under the direction of Chef Aliberti, Director of Culinary Arts, visited Sushi Lovers Restaurant at the Cumberland Mall in Vineland, New Jersey. Owners, John Shi and Sally Huang welcomed students into their establishment to teach them about Sushi, not only a healthy dish but a craft. “Sushi-making is such a traditional art form,” Chef Aliberti said. “This is because in the Japanese culture, the appearance of the roll is just as important as how it tastes. Chefs in Japan spend years learning the craft of sushi-making.”
Students were treated to a demonstration on how to make traditional sushi rice with rice vinegar in a wooden bowl. This is the delicate art of stirring rice carefully enough to avoid grain breakage while ensuring all the rice has a vinegar coating. They were then given the opportunity to help mix the rice.
“One really cool thing the head chef did was demonstrate how to make the actual roll. After he showed the students how to make it, he invited two students at a time to the table to make their own. He offered guidance and really let them succeed,” Chef Aliberti said.
This hands-on practice is beneficial to students as they look to grow their skills in the kitchen. It is also very rare for students to have this opportunity. According to Chef Robin, Aliberti’s sous chef, this was also the first time many students have ever tasted sushi. The reviews were all positive.
Student Joe Moore said, “It was pretty good. Surprisingly. I was expecting it to be unappetizing. But it was really delicious.” Chef Aliberti added “The experience was amazing because it was enlightening for not only the kids, but for me, as well. Watching the students struggle with something so delicate, but then accomplish this difficult task was really rewarding.”
“I just want to make it,” senior Karissa DeLeon said. “I really want to learn. It will help me become more rounded in my Culinary Arts skills.”