Want to serve sushi at your next conference? There’s a reason the raw fish dish has its own emoji. A study released last year reported the sushi industry makes a whopping $2.25 billion annually in the United States. That’s proof enough to add the premium option to your event menu. Eric Klein, vice president of culinary and partner at Wolfgang Puck Catering—which set up a sushi station at the annual Oscars Governors Ball this year—shares four fishy tips to consider.
1. To serve sushi, make quality a top priority.
“For the Oscars, we hand-selected the tuna we used,” says Klein, noting his team talked to fishermen directly to learn where the fish came from and how it was treated. He recommends hamachi, blue albacore, kampachi, yellowtail, sea urchin and tuna.
2. Consider food safety.
“We always display disclaimers that eating raw food can [come with risks],” notes Klein. “If we do a sashimi station, we have blocks of ice and the fish is exposed on that.” It’s important to work with a caterer who understands the product and how to handle it.
3. Let the food present itself.
“Simplicity is a form of beauty,” says Klein. “We don’t use dressing, sauces or anything. [We do sushi] in a way that’s respectful to the food.”
4. Add a personal touch.
For sushi and sashimi action stations, Klein likes to have a chef attendant there to prep and serve the fish, as well as keep an eye on how attendees are handling the food. Not only does it serve as a safety measure, it’s also true to how sushi is traditionally served. “If you go to a sushi counter, you don’t want a plate passing by you,” he says. “You want a chef there serving you for a personal touch.”