The Sushi Chef: Oona Tempest and Toshio Oguma


Tanoshi Sushi NYC was born from a variety of happy accidents. King Ang, the owner, happened to come across an empty space on the Upper East Side that had no kitchen—which led him to make it a sushi bar. Toshio Oguma, the head sushi chef, was finishing up work in California when his wife found a Craigslist ad for an experienced sushi chef. Now, three years later, Tanoshi is creating some of most delicious sushi in New York City (and offering the most affordable omakase).

Toshio Oguma believes the most important part of making sushi is maintaining one’s ‘magokoro’ (true heart), which is clear in each piece of sushi he presents to his guests. This philosophy also extends to his teaching. Oguma-san will teach anybody with one condition: they have passion.Through the work of his most recent apprentice—Oona Tempest, who works behind the sushi bar—one can see that this is definitely the case. With a background in Japanese art, Oona is just one more example of a series of fortunate and random events that has led to the success of Tanoshi.

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36 thoughts on “The Sushi Chef: Oona Tempest and Toshio Oguma”

  1. She is a great pupil. Hard working, loyal, dedicated and passionate. They are going to be an amazing team in a few years, the restaurant will have its golden era and she's already wise enough to think about carrying the tradition.

  2. I see two things about cooking over and over again which are the absolute fundamentals of being successful at it.

    First you need to love it. As it is with most things, if you don't love what you do it shows, but I feel like it is twice that with cooking. If you lack the passion and love for food, you are going to start compromising…

    Which leads my to the second thing. You got to have standards and never compromise, otherwise you are setting yourself up for a quick and devastating fail…

    I watched Kitchen Nightmares religiously at one point. Then started looking at other chefs (meaning other than Gordon Ramsay) and I see these two principals, standing out from anything else like pillars on which a great chef stands on.

    I will never forget this as long as I'm among the living!

  3. Wow… i was in the food Industry for about 15 Years, now i´m a trained Blacksmith ^^
    May i just needed someone like Toshio Oguma 😉 Who knows, i like my Steel and Iron Stuff ;P

  4. If someone made a full film out of this I would totally watch it. The master-student relationship + sushi chef philosophies + beautiful shots of the sushi being prepared and the drawings of fish

  5. Talented apprentice you got there. Through her i can see that sushi is not only delicious but it can be beautiful also. Every ingredients that she described even though i dont get it but it makes me drool. And what surprised me the most she is only an apprentice for about one year!!.. and already she can make that kind of sushi. I thought apprentices must stay behind in the kitchen for several years before they can even served customers.

  6. Speaks highly of the Chef's character that he was conditioned to receive or resort to violence during his learning and yet despite being a little mad having that much control over himself. He is a good guy, just had harsh people around him growing up.

  7. LoL! 12:12 translation: "my masters beat the shit out of me to make me learn better, but I can't do that here in America. So, I do the best I can with what I have." Maybe he really has mellowed, but I'm getting that impression a little here.

  8. I can relate to the young chef so much at 11:00 .. i'm not a chef myself, but i help the sushi chef with certain things in the kitchen such as simple food preperation. If i do something wrong, i get this type of treatment from both the manager and the chef. It's hard to deal with because they make you look stupid.

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