Sushi chef, Sake Sommelier, teacher, speaker, and author specialized in authentic Japanese sushi and Japanese cuisine.
You are also welcome to follow me on Instagram: @japanesechefrecipes.
Zoë also works as a Digital Marketing consultant, she helps entrepreneurs become visible in the digital world. Read more about https://seooptimizer.
The long version
I have practiced the Japanese martial arts of kendo (sword fencing) at elite level for many years. My kendo teacher and mentor is Nobuo Hirakawa, who is very known in Japan for his ability to hand-pick students and develop their talent to become the best kendo players in the world.
In 2004, I traveled to Japan where I was on a kendo training camp in Tokyo. After training, I was invited to dine with the teachers at Tokyo’s many high quality sushi restaurants. That was an eye-opener.
Most Japanese sushi restaurants have 20 different fish on the menu, the sushi tasted different from European sushi and the quality of the sushi was different.
In 2005, I got a knee injury and I went though surgery. Unfortunately, I had to give up practicing kendo. But my joy of the beautiful country and culture of Japan and my enthusiasm for Japanese cuisine remained unchanged.
In 2006, I travel to Los Angeles where I was trained to become a sushi chef and Sake Sommelier at California Sushi Academy. As part of my training, I learned to make different appetizers, entrees and other classic dishes within the Japanese cuisine. The education was led by the highly acclaimed Japanese director Toshi Sugiura, who has 40 years of experience, he is a celebrity chef in Hollywood and a judge at sushi competitions in Japan.
During my stay in Los Angeles, I made sushi at celebrities’ houses in Bel Air, Beverly Hills, and Brentwood, as well as movie companies in Hollywood.
Since the sushi chef education
Since my education in 2006, I have travelled back in Los Angeles. I visited my teacher in 2012 and 2019 to get new inspiration, to refine my sushi techniques and to assist Mino. Mino is a Japanese sushi chef with 36 years of experience. Read more about Zoë’s passion for sushi.
My delight of Japanese cuisine and sushi has meant that since 2004, I have traveled to Japan almost every year to be inspired, learn new techniques, and broaden my horizons within Japanese gastronomy. It is also a nice opportunity to visit Japanese friends and instructors and practise kendo kata.
What do I do today?
I teach culinary classes for individuals and companies.
I have written a serie of mini ebooks with recipes for one person;
5 Japanese Okonomiyaki for One
5 Japanese Sushi Handrolls for One
5 Japanese Vegetarian Noodle Soup for One
5 Japanese Yakitori Skewers for One
5 Healthy Japanese Onigiri for One
5 Healthy Japanese Juices for One
Since I graduated in 2006 I have been quite busy.
In January 2019 I was the judge for the daily newspaper Politiken in connection with testing food for their readers.
In February 2016 I held the official opening speech and opened the fair Formland Spring 2016 in Messecenter Herning in Denmark. At the opening of the fair there were 49 people from the press, 20 VIP and 271 exhibitors.
In October 2014, I made a sushi guide for the newspaper Jyllands-Posten which can be found on their website.
In August 2014, I rated the quality of take-away sushi from 8 different sushi restaurants in Copenhagen. A research made by the consumer council magazine “THINK”.
My sushi course for beginners was nominated for the Danish Experience Prize 2013.
In November 2013, I was rated as sushi expert no. 1 in Denmark by the gourmet supermarket chain Irma.
In November 2013, I made sushi and Japanese cuisine dishes as staff food for the three-star Michelin restaurant Geranium.
In Februry 2013, I was guest judge on Masterchef in Denmark
On 9 July 2010, my cookbook “Matcha, omakase and sushi” was released.
I was born in 1974 and adopted from Sri Lanka.
I grew up with Dutch parents and I am a grand daughter of the famous Dutch artist M.C Escher.