Classes bring sushi to your kitchen

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DENVER -- More and more people are picking up the chopsticks and learning to love sushi. But could you make those perfectly shaped sushi rolls yourself? A Denver master sushi chef is sharing his secrets.

“California roll, hand roll, shrimp tempura roll, tune roll, all kinds of rolls, as well as nigiri, which is individual pieces of sushi,” said Yasu Kizaki.

Kizaki is the owner of the Sushi Den and Izakaya Den restaurants on South Pearl. Those rolls are that one would make at one of his sushi making classes.

“We do a class every other week, sometimes every week,” said Kizaki.

On a Wednesday night a group gathers with gloves and aprons on ready to learn. First there’s a practice round, during which everyone learns how to properly roll rice using a sheet of paper instead of seaweed. After learning three different techniques, the attendees finally move on to the real deal.

“We have barbecue rib, cucumber, and avocado,” Kizaki announced to the class. “Place it here, we need a space at the top, spread the rice.”

Everyone tried making their own rolls, some admittedly better than others. But regardless of their skill, everyone in the class was laughing and having a great time.

“As a result of it I appreciate the skill and artistry of the chefs that do this every night,” said David Bowlby.

And finally, after all their hard work, they got to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

“We’re going to say cheers to you, and then we’re going to eat it,” Kizaki said.

“I wouldn’t say that they’re works of art, but I think that they’ll taste very good,” said Kathy Pielseicker.

For Kizaki, the classes are a chance to share the food he loves, while giving people a memorable evening out.

“When you come here, make sushi, and eat together, that helps people get to know each other better,” he said. “It’s a fun activity.”

The sushi classes take place at Izakaya Den. The cost is $70 per person, which includes the class, plus a meal of more than 20 pieces of sushi, miso soup, and traditional green tea. You can find information on signing up for the class here.

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