On A Roll with Sushi-Making Class at the Boulder JCC

Sushi is a Japanese dish prepared with vinegar rice, usually with some sugar and salt, accompanied by a variety of delicious ingredients, such as fresh seafood—often raw—vegetables, and tasty sauces. While delicious and loved by most, many people do not know how to make it. 25 community members recently gathered in their pursuit to learn how to make five unique sushi rolls and sip Sake at the Boulder JCC with Hapa Sushi and Sake Bar experts to help. 

Scott Nakasone, Hapa Sushi Grill and Sake Bar Culinary Director, and Ken Yuasa, Back of House Manager and Sushi University Director at Hapa Sushi and Sake Bar, were the instructors for the evening. Both Scott and Ken have been part of the team at Hapa Sushi since the restaurant opened on the Hill in Boulder in 1999. 

Participants followed step-by-step with the two chefs and created five various sushi rolls, getting the inside secrets on the famous Hapa Roll that features spicy tuna and crisp cucumber. The chefs from Hapa had kindly prepared the rice and ingredients in advance for all the participants. As participants followed instruction, everyone enjoyed their creations and sipped on two different sake options. Learning the process of rolling your own sushi gave all the participants a new appreciation for the labor and skill involved when being served sushi, as well as the confidence to tackle the craft on their own.

Attendees included several parents with their college-aged children, including Julia Rechter who joined the program with her son, Benjamin, who was visiting Boulder on summer break from UCSB. “We came because we both enjoy sushi.” said Julia. “Learning how to roll sushi from professionals sounded very fun, neither of us had ever tried making sushi at home. We definitely got better as the evening progressed, though I think Benj caught on sooner than me!”

“We are so grateful to Mark and Laurie VanGrack,” longtime owners of Hapa Sushi and Sake Bar, “for always going above and beyond for the Boulder JCC,” commented Heidi Dormody, Senior Director of Development and a participant at the program. “It’s partnerships like this that demonstrate the incredible strength and connectedness of our vibrant community. We could not do what we do without the generous support of our extended JCC family.”

Want to take part in more events like this? Keep up with the Boulder JCC and their amazing programming and happenings at www.boulderjcc.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Problems registering for an event? Contact Acy Jackson at acy.jackson@boulderjcc.org or call the Boulder JCC’s Reception at (303) 998-1900.

About Emily LeCleir

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