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Jonathan Ng to Sushi King
At only 25 years old, Johnathan Ng has worked at an impressive four Japanese and sushi restaurants throughout the Atlanta area. Growing up, Jonathan’s family owned a popular sushi restaurant in Atlanta and was taught at a young age the art of mastering sushi. When he was just seventeen years old, Ng started working behind the sushi counter prepping simple rolls for the customers. To this day, in between balancing school and work, Jonathan still makes sushi. Working at Sushi restaurants popularly known to the Atlanta/ Woodstock area like Eight, Izumi, and Zest, Jonathan is not shy in the topic of sushi. When I asked Jonathan how long it took him to learn and where he got his creativity from he responded by telling me his mother and father would make sushi for dinner because it was quick and easy, just not to him. When I heard that his mother knew how to make sushi I was surprised. I asked “Do you or have you worked with any women in the restaurants that make sushi,” he let out a small laugh and shook his head because Japanese women find it taboo to do such thing as to stand next to men and make sushi for a living.
I then asked Mr. Ng if there was any part of his job he did not like or if there was anything that stressed him out. Jonathan told me “I’m not very good with cutting fish. Sashimi and nigiri are my weaknesses.” Ng also stated that if it were up to him, he would be making the rolls and not cutting the “things that are supposed to look good to people,” because it is intimidating. When I asked how Jonathan liked working with his coworkers, he was hesitant to tell me his honest opinion. “I have worked in multiple sushi restaurants, everybody makes their food differently, sometimes according the way they think they would like the way it tastes. Everybody learns a different way, everybody makes it a different way, but everybody should make it to the taste of the person eating it.”
Jonathan believes he still learn new things every day and so do his coworkers so he cuts them some slack.
Today, Jonathan has gone back to the small restaurant in Georgia that his family has owned for almost 10 years now. He tells me that the favorite part of his job is bringing a traditional Asian cultured food to the middle of Georgia where he can work with his family and his friends on a daily basis and serve people the food they want to eat.
Teaching me how to make his restaurants version of homemade sticky rice.
When did you start making sushi?
Who taught you to make sushi?
Do multiple people in your family know how to make it?
How long did it take you to learn?
Do you enjoy making sushi on a daily basis?
Do you have a preferred method to the sushi you make, by hand or by machine?
How many female sushi chefs have you worked with or seen?
How many restaurants have you made sushi at?
Were/ are you intimidated by other sushi chefs with more experience?
You are young, so are you going to continue making sushi throughout your life or only continue it as a hobby?
Do you still learn new things?
What is your preferred sushi to make?
Have you ever come up with your own creations?
Would you recommend this profession to others?
When did you first try sushi?
Your family owns a sushi restaurant, did you wan to start making sushi or were you just brought up into it?
It is difficult to work with others, is working with someone behind a sushi bar easier or harder than working with someone say on a group project.
Does your job stress you out?
Do you have many weaknesses when it comes to making sushi?
What is you favorite part of your job when it comes to making sushi?