Category Archives: Education

An Open Letter to Bigot Diners

Dear Customers,

We are honored that you have decided to dine at Mashiko.  We know that there are many fine restaurants in Seattle, so we thank you for the opportunity to serve you.

The thing that saddens us is that some of our customers are bigots.  This letter is address to them.  To everyone else, thanks for not being a bigot.

To the bigoted diners:  We find your ignorant comments to our staff offensive.  When you then post them online, you prove to the entire world how cowardly and small you are.  Our main points of contention are as follows:

1)            We are a Japanese restaurant because we serve Japanese food.  And yes, we have Japanese ownership.  We also have several employees of Japanese descent.  But that shouldn’t matter.  By claiming that there are no Japanese people working at Mashiko, you are not only incorrect, you are also demonstrating what a racist you are.  Would you refuse service at an Irish pub if your server didn’t speak with a fanciful brogue?  You do realize that sometimes people in this great big melting pot may not have a look that reflects their genetic makeup.  Do you also insist on DNA tests wherever you go?  Of course not.  Stop being an ignorant racist.

2)            Why yes, we do have a female sushi chef.  She also happens to be Caucasian.  Her name is Mariah Kmitta, and we are blessed to have her behind our sushi bar.  Mariah has been wowing customers at Mashiko for over 12 years.  She has an amazing following of devoted customers who only dine with us when Mariah is working.  If you know Hajime, you know he is one picky son of a bitch.  He entrusts Mariah because she has earned his respect.  Mariah comes to work each night eager to share exciting new textures and flavors with you.  Should you refuse her fare based on her gender or race, you are an absolute fool.

The funny thing is that our non-Japanese chefs know that they are being so overly scrutinized, and therefore they study and grow more than most chefs out there.  Trust us – we’ve had many Japanese men working here that had to be fired because they relied on their gender and race instead of making amazing food.

We are sorry to carry on like this, but this discrimination nonsense has got to stop.  Seriously.  It is ruining so many wonderful things all across the world.  Can’t we start at home by making an example that race, gender, and sexual orientation truly do not matter?

Since 1994, Mashiko has always been a non-discriminatory establishment.  All are welcome here.  So even if you don’t like our food, can’t you at least agree that we might be right about this one thing?




Filed under Education

What the World Eats

Don't expect to put this book down easily.

What can we say?  We really cannot recommend this book enough.

What the World Eats lets us tag along with Faith D’Aluisio and Peter Menzel as they visit 25 families in 21 countries, observing what mealtime means to each of them.  Don’t be fooled – this is no boring textbook.  This is food and culture brought to life.  Each chapter begins with one family surrounded with a typical week’s worth of food.  From there, you are hooked.  Ever wonder what typical street vendor food might be in Ecuador?  Curious about what a kitchen looks like in Mali?  Family recipes, regional facts, and field notes are brought together in the most fascinating way.  The personal stories of each family will linger, challenging your ideas about food, family, and beyond.

And hey!  With the kids out of school, this book would be a great summer read for you to share with them.  Spending time together, having fun, and learning?  That would pretty much make you the coolest parent ever.

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Filed under Education, Random Goodness

Sushi Class for Tsunami Relief

We were just talking with our good pal Susan over at Dish It Up.  Do you know Susan?  She is such a treat.  But anyway, the thing is that Susan was telling us that there are still several seats available for their Sushi Rolls for Tsunami Relief class coming up on Wednesday, May 11th.  Why, that’s just next week.

Here’s the deal on why this class really needs to be completely full:  Sure, it will be loads of fun learning to make some sustainable sushi basics with our very own Chef Hajime Sato.  And of course, we know that the Dish It Up location in Ballard is full of fancy schmancy kitchen stuff that you’ll probably want.  But the real kicker is that this is a tsunami relief effort, with $20 of each student’s fee being donated to the American Red Cross.  Hajime’s instructor fee will also be donated.  Have fun, learn a bit, and contribute towards helping Japan?  Win, win, win.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday.  All mom really wants is more time with you, ya know.  How’s about making reservations for the two of you at Mashiko for dinner.  Then you can surprise her over dessert by telling her that you are both going to Dish It Up for this class!  Holy wow, she would be one happy mom.

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Filed under Education, Your Help Needed

The Beauty of Hawaiian Abalone

As many of you know, our very own Chef Hajime Sato was in Hawaii last month eating lots of local fare and continuing his aquaculture research.  A good portion of one day was spent visiting Big Island Abalone.

Big Island Abalone's Hiroshi Arai showed Hajime ezo awabi in different stages of growth.

Most wild abalone habitats along the West Coast have been severely damaged, so it is very difficult to get any quality abalone in that manner.  Under the right conditions, abalone can thrive when properly farmed.  Big Island Abalone primarily grows a Japanese strain originating from Hokkaido called ezo awabi. Interestingly enough, the main food source enjoyed by these abalone is seaweed strains originating in our Puget Sound!  The clean, non-invasive conditions of this type of aquaculture produces 60 tons of abalone per year.  Think of what a relief this must be to the wild sources, allowing them to reestablish themselves in the oceans.

Oh so much delicious abalone...

Hajime returned with a fresh perspective on abalone.  What better way to share his renewed passion than to serve you some, fresh from the Big Island?  We just received a beautiful shipment of ezo awabi.  We invite you to stop by Mashiko to experience the unique flavor and very gentle texture.  You won’t find fresher abalone in Seattle!  They won’t last long, so get yours soon!

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Filed under Education, Sustainability Issues

The Story of the Bluefin

We hope that everyone will watch this video and then tell someone else about it.

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Filed under Education, Sustainability Issues, Your Help Needed

Sake Tastings at Uwajimaya

Whilst perusing the goods at our favorite Uwajimaya location yesterday, we were happy to spot our good friend Louise.  Upon further examination, our delight grew as we realized that she was facilitating a complimentary mini sake tasting of three of Uwajimaya’s offerings.  How cool is that? Today and tomorrow, tastings will be held between 2:00-5:00pm.  Apparently the selections to taste will be rotating every weekend, so be sure to check back regularly for maximum sake enjoyment.  Keep this schedule in mind as the dates and times vary based on which location you’d like to visit.  We still think the International District locale is especially worth the visit.  Be sure to say “Hi” to Louise for us!  Then you might consider heading over to Mashiko for dinner.  We’ve been known to do some fabulous sake pairings with our meals.

This may very well be the most fun you’ve had at the supermarket in a long, long time.  Come on, you know you were going to pop in and grab a box of Hello Kitty Choco Pies anyway.


Filed under Announcements, Education, Events, Special Offers

Sake 101 on February 17th

Everyone knows that sustainability is both cool and sexy.  Our very own Chef Hajime Sato has proven that sustainable sushi can be cool, sexy, and delicious.  What could even come close in comparison?  Not much – except for sake!

Why the confused look?  Oh, you feel a bit lost when it comes to sake?  No worries!  Hajime is teaming up with the nice folks over at Bin 41 to offer Sake 101 on Thursday, February 17th.  This evening will be chock-full of fun info and tasty sampling.  It’s only about a week and a half from now, so register soon and get ready to take your first step towards greater sake fulfillment.

*Rumor has it that this class would make an excellent Valentine’s Day gift.  So go on with your bad self.  Sign up you and your sweetie!

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Sustainable Sushi and Sake Class – This Thursday

Find yourself with a bad case of cabin fever?  Get out and do something fun!  Our very own Chef Hajime Sato will be teaching his hands-on Sustainable Sushi and Sake class at Diane’s Market Kitchen this Thursday, February 3rd.  This is a very popular class held at a cozy and convenient Belltown location.  Register now before the few remaining seats have been filled.
Diane says, “Both of us have been committed to creating great meals using fish and seafood that are both tasty and sustainable. Don’t choose, you can have it all. Join us to learn the secrets behind perfect sushi rice and great rolls. We will also sample several types of sake. Bring your appetite and sense of humor, you will leave with a full stomach, the tools to create your own rolls at home, and a box of sushi.”  Sounds like a great recipe for beating the mid-winter blues!

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Filed under Education