The Rathskeller, an on-campus bar at University of Miami, is famous for serving great hamburgers, fried chips, and cold beverages. But who would have imagined that someday it would also hold a sushi-making workshop for those die-hard sushi fans?
Well, believe or not, it was happening.
Last month, the Rathskeller Advisory Board partnered with the Hurricane Productions to offer a one-of-a-kind sushi-making workshop for UM students. Although the workshop officially started at 5 p.m., there was already a long line awaiting this exciting experience at around 3 p.m.
Lidia Kliass, an exchange student from Brazil, said that she had enjoyed eating sushi back at home. Sushi is popular in Brazil, according to her.
“I am used to it [sushi],” she said, smiling. “But what I love the most about this sushi workshop is that you get the chance to customize the rolls on your own; so basically you can create your own menu.”
The sushi workshop consisted of five parts: making the sushi rice, customizing the fillings, forming the maki, rolling the maki, and cutting the finished sushi. Gilbert Bantista from Yuga Restaurant was the main instructor of this workshop.
“The biggest secret of making sushi is to be dedicated and be consistent on the rolls,” he said. “There are many kinds of sushi, such as California Rolls, Spicy Tuna Sushi, and Raw Fish Sushi. As long as you like making sushi, [making any of them] will be very easy.”
Omar Mohammed, a participant who just finished his sushi with Bantista’s help, said he had learned a lot from this workshop. Mohammed had possessed abundant cooking experience back at home, like cooking Italian food; and yet he was definitely “a beginner” in terms of sushi making.
“At first, I felt weird about the raw fish…you know, I usually ate it cooked,” he said. But after trying it for sushi making, he quickly fell in love with it.
“[This workshop] made me become more interested in trying new things, and of course, I have got to know more about the Asian culture,” he said, nodding.
Hunter Carpenter, chair of Rathskeller Advisory Board, was one of the event coordinators of this workshop. Hosting such an event was meaningful because it was “very interactive,” he said. According to Carpenter, there were also other sushi-themed events over the years on campus, but none of them involved direct instruction on “how to make sushi” quite like this one.
In addition, Carpenter tried to make this sushi workshop a “more complete event,” mingling it with many other club activities.
“I reached out to the Japanese Student Association and the Brazilian Student Association to get a kind of campus-wide, org-collaboration, so they can do some of their activities and advertise themselves while joining us,” Carpenter explained.
Therefore, students got to enjoy sushi while making new friends on that happy Friday afternoon.