Home > Events, Food & Drink, Reviews > Sushi Awards 2011: UK Sushi Roll Championship Winner Announced!

Sushi Awards 2011: UK Sushi Roll Championship Winner Announced!

Sponsored by KIKKOMAN, TSUNO FOODS at HYPER JAPAN 2011, 22-24th July 2011

Up and coming female sushi chef, Asuka Kobayashi, of Matsuri St. James’s, won the first ever Eat-Japan SUSHI AWARDS 2011: UK Sushi Roll Championship, sponsored by Kikkoman and Tsuno Foods. Her creaon, ‘Precious Memories’, received an overwhelming number of votes from the 1800 members of the public, who decided on their favourite aer tasng the five nominated chefs’ sushi entries.

(Courtesy of Eat-Japan)

The idea of the winning sushi came from Asuka’s own precious memories. Having been brought up by a mother who ran a pizza restaurant, Asuka became familiar with the ingredients and taste of Italy. The use of red wine was influenced by her home prefecture, Nagano, famous for grapes and great red wines. Combining these elements, she spent a good week experimenng with an array of ingredients in order to find the perfect combinaon, and when it came to deciding on the final idea, she received approval from all the sushi masters at the famous Matsuri, St. James’s.

The sushi roll was made up using salmon marinated in KIKKOMAN Soy Sauce and red wine, two coloured halves of sushi rice (Sushi vinegared rice and red wine vinegared rice), mascarpone, sun-dried tomato puree, capers, dill, basil, rocket, chives and Nori seaweed. With an accompaniment of KIKKOMAN Soy Sauce and red wine foam, as well as a sushi ginger and sesame crispy cracker, ‘Precious Memories’ was created.

Asuka Kobayashi has a decade of experience as a chef at Matsuri St. James’s (www.matsurirestaurant.com). She commented ‘I was really surprised! I didn’t think I would win. All the other chefs are very experienced head chefs so I felt pressure. My mum must be so proud of me, I must call her!’

Precious Memories (Courtesy of Eat-Japan)


In the Championship, five talented UK chefs baled it out, armed only with a unique ‘sushi roll creation’ made especially for the event.

Seafood Garden Roll

Dharmadsa Kodituwakku, Head Chef, CHISOU www.chisou.co.uk

Seafood Garden Roll (Courtesy of Eat-Japan)

This sushi roll was all about delicious and natural, healthy produce. Beautifully wrapped in a finely peeled cucumber strip; tuna, salmon, amberjack, crab, daikon, shiso leaves and rocket with yuzu sauce (yuzu, KIKKOMAN Soy Sauce and onion) creating a fresh yet rich flavour.

Summer on a Plate

Silla Bjerrum, Executive Chef, FENG SUSHI www.fengsushi.co.uk

Summer on a Plate (Courtesy of Eat-Japan)

Using different parts of young yellowtail to show its varied textures, along with a light miso dressing, Silla used the lean part to fry in Tsuno Foods Rice Bran Oil for a crispy tempura, and the faer part of the yellowtail minced to make a tartar. Mixed with fresh yuzu flavoured tobiko, a summery sensaon was born.

Water Please!

Thomas Nam, Head Chef, MOSHI MOSHI www.moshimoshi.co.uk

Water Please! (Courtesy of Eat-Japan)

Wanting to create a sushi roll fusing Korean and Japanese elements, Thomas used salmon marinated in kimchi (spicy pickled vegetable sauce), and pear and apple juice to bring out a natural sweetness. Mild Moshi Moshi dressing and KIKKOMAN Soy Sauce added more complex flavours to a bold creaon.

Creamy Roll

Tomokazu Matsuya, Head Sushi Chef, SO Restaurant www.sorestaurant.com

Creamy Roll (Courtesy of Eat-Japan)

Simple, quality ingredients of wild scallops and avocado created a melt in your mouth sushi without any use of mayonnaise or oil. This entry maintained the authencity of the original concept of sushi, bringing out the best of the ingredients in a subtle way.

Special Guest: Anton Edelmann

Renowned for having been the Savoy Hotel’s Maitre Chef des Cuisines for 21 years, his latest venture is ‘Anton’s’ at Great Hallingbury Manor.  The value of his vote was the same as the public’s. Complimenting all the chefs he told the audience; ‘I used to go to Japan a lot in the 90’s and I love Japanese culture and food! Seeing and tasng all the sushi entries, it’s always very hard to do for large numbers, but the stands were fabulous. The flavours were great and the creavity of it all! It worked remarkably well, it should be incorporated into their menus!’.

At The Event

The five nominated chefs worked alongside each other at the UK Sushi Roll Championship sushi counter, where each restaurant served 1800 sushi rolls to cket holders over the course of the three day Hyper Japan event, totaling a staggering 9000 pieces. After tasting all the entries, cket holders voted for their favourite. The restaurant and chef who got the most votes received the honour of being crowned UK Sushi of the Year.

The visitors were eager to taste quality sushi and long queues formed each day when serving commenced. Many gathered in front of the booth even before the sushi was served, to watch the chefs at work and take photos of them skillfully preparing their sushi rolls. Many seemed excited to try sushi made up of some interesng and different ingredients not usually associated with this bite size cuisine.

‘I like the first one (Precious Memories). I like the combinaon of textures, it was an interesng sauce, and the sweet biscuit; liked it!’ Dan Marn, 34, Designer.

‘Precious Memories made me go ‘oh wow!’ Marijke Jensen, 32, Credit Controller ‘They’re all delicious, it was a tough decision. Precious Memories was just right. Nicely put together.’ Jote Bassi, Marketing Consultant.

(Courtesy of Eat-Japan)

(Courtesy of Eat-Japan)

SUSHI AWARDS 2011: Sushi Roll Championship

Date Fri 22nd, Sat 23rd and Sun 24th July 2011 Sushi Serving Time 14:00 – 17:00 approx. (HYPER JAPAN opened 10:00 – 19:00, Sun ended 18:00)

Place SUSHI AWARDS 2011: UK Sushi Championship Booth, HYPER JAPAN, at Olympia Two, London W14 8UX

Number of sushi served: 1800 pieces over 3 days


The UK Sushi Roll Championship was held as part of HYPER JAPAN, the UK’s biggest J-culture event. HYPER JAPAN was first held in October 2010 at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, and the amazing response to the event led to expansion to a larger venue, Olympia Two, this year. HYPER JAPAN 2011 welcomed over 25,000 visitors over three days. The event was aended by 52 exhibitors and 41 table exhibitors, and sponsored by 25 companies. It was also supported by six organisa ons including the Embassy of Japan in the UK and JETRO London. Visit the website for further details: www.hyperjapan.co.uk

Earthquake Relief:

HYPER JAPAN and its sponsors are dedicated to supporting the peoples, regions and industries affected by the Japan Tohoku Pacific earthquake of 11 March 2011. 10% of net HYPER JAPAN cket revenue will be donated directly to the Japan Society Earthquake Relief Fund. There were also donaon boxes and related events at the HYPER JAPAN venue.

EAT-JAPAN & SUSHI AWARDS (www.eat-japan.com)

EAT-JAPAN is a UK-based Japanese food and drink specialist working in publishing, media, events and PR. EAT-JAPAN Magazine is the only dedicated English language publicaon on Japanese food, drink, restaurants, shops and ingredients in the UK, and has been published since 2001. EAT-JAPAN also publishes the EAT-JAPAN Japanese Food Trade Directory for trade professionals, as well as recipe books. EAT-JAPAN.com, recently revamped, is the number one site for Japanese food and drink, featuring a UK Japanese restaurant directory, the online sushi-making guide (Sushi Perfect), a database of Japanese recipes, arcles and informaon on EAT-JAPAN activies.

The EAT-JAPAN SUSHI AWARDS was created in 2005 as the only world sushi championship to celebrate the highest quality sushi and Japanese food culture in the UK and beyond. Over the past six years, it has been a great opportunity to assemble the very best sushi masters from all over the world and showcase their incredible talents.

Related Posts:

Hyper Japan 2011 – The UK’s Biggest J-Culture Event

Recipe:  Kappamaki Sushi

Categories: Events, Food & Drink, Reviews
  1. steffanie turner
    August 1, 2011 at 11:01 am



  2. August 1, 2011 at 11:15 am

    steffanie turner :


    Glad you like it. It was provided by Eat-Japan.


  1. January 13, 2012 at 11:50 am
  2. January 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm
  3. June 26, 2013 at 5:17 pm

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