January 31, 2018
By Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
WALNUT, CA—A group of Walnut Valley USD student leaders were treated to a sushi-rolling class at Benihana last week.
The Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, comprised of 5th-12th graders, donned chef aprons for the special culinary lesson courtesy of the City of Industry restaurant on January 22.
The 25 students enjoyed a fried rice and edamame appetizer before learning to make the delicious main course - an authentic California Roll.
Marketing manager Debbie Fawcett shared etiquette tips for traditional Japanese dining and the history of sushi.
“Who’s excited to eat raw eel, squid, octopus, and uni today?” she asked the group.
Only a few eager hands shot up.
“Just kidding, you’re actually having cooked crab - and you’ll get to eat your artwork!” she added.
Students learned the “dos and don’ts” about using chopsticks during the lesson.
They were surprised to hear that sharpening the wooden sticks is a sign of disrespect to Japanese chefs.
“And don’t spear your food with them!” Fawcett said. “Use them like tweezers or tongs, they are a revered tool in Japan.”
Before eating, Japanese people say “isadakemasu” as an expression of thanks for preparing the meal, Fawcett explained.
Chef Taka offered step-by-step directions that began with spreading a thin layer of sticky rice on dried nori seaweed sheets.
Students then flipped their creations over adding another layer of rice, followed by crab, cucumber strips and avocado.
They used bamboo mats to form the inside-out rolls and finished with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
The expert sushi chef cut the rolls into four pieces for each diner.
For dessert, students made sushi candy out of Fruit Roll-Ups and gummy fish!
Each sushi-rolling grad received a certificate at the end of the meal.
Benihana Restaurant has been a valued WVUSD community partner for the past 20 years.
The Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council meets monthly for leadership training and to discuss happenings at their schools.
“You’ll be well-prepared to enter the world of sushi when you leave here today!” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor.
“This has been a great leadership lesson!”
The Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council learns to make sushi at Benihana on Jan. 22.
Superintendent Dr. Robert Taylor joins the sushi-rolling class at Benihana.
Board President Cindy Ruiz delivers fried rice to students.
Students get a lesson in using chop sticks at Benihana.
C.J. Morris principal Shehzad Bhojani and Vejar student Talisa Perez learn to make a California roll.
Superintendent Dr. Taylor presents sushi-making certificates at culmination of class.
Students pose with chefs and principals at Benihana’s sushi-making class.