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Hibachi Chefs Revealed - The most common questions heard by a Hibachi Chef

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 3

When cooking in front of new people everyday it's amazing how often we get asked the same questions day in, day out. In this article, I'll present some questions that are common, but good questions and common, yet annoying questions.

"How long have you worked here?"

Every Hibachi Chef will get this question all the time. It's by far the question I'm asked the most. It's funny, because what they're really asking is "Are you new? Am I going to get something thrown at me?" For this reason my response is always the same, "It's my first day and I'm really nervous." You have to remember, while it's always entertaining for new customers to experience authentic Japanese cuisine it also should be entertaining for the Chef as well. This isn't easy considering we cook the same food and do the same tricks every day. It's loads of fun to see the look on people's face when they think they're sitting in front of a rookie armed with a fork and spatula that's about to be thrown 3 feet from their face. Hopefully after the opening show they figure out it's in fact not my first day.

"What part of Japan are you from?"

I'm a Caucasian male from California so it's pretty obvious I'm not from Japan. The people who ask this mean it as a joke, but when you think about it it's really not that funny. It's also racist. I don't tell you to eat at McDonald's because you're white so please don't assume I don't know what I'm doing because I'm not Japanese.

"Have you ever messed up and hit someone?"

Absolutely! Every Hibachi Chef has a horror story. If they don't then they haven't been doing it very long. I like being asked this question because what the customer really wants is to hear are some Hibachi goofups and get a good laugh. And to be honest, almost all the Hibachi Chef mistakes are hilarious stories. In the 6 years that I've been cooking food I've never injured anyone and also never seen anyone hurt. That being said, I've seen my fare share of culinary disasters. I'll leave these stories for another post.

"Do you have that white "yum yum" sauce?"

All Hibachi restaurants are different therefore they're not all going to have the same kinds of dishes or sauces. Many people go to Benihana (the most popular Hibachi restaurant) and assume they will have a similar experience in any Hibachi restaurant they go to. While you will probably see fire and utensils thrown in any Hibachi restaurant you go to, the sauces and food will certainly be different. Just go with it. You might even like it more than the last place.



Dec 21, 2010 6:32pm
My question: "Can you tell me how to make a great tasting Teriyaki sauce?" Thanks for this fun article!
Dec 22, 2010 1:58am
I can't give you an exact recipe but i'll give you some ingredients to get started. Feel free to add more ingredients as well.

Soy Sauce
Mirin (a cooking rice wine, similar to sake)

Then you just boil it for a few hours or until it starts to get thick. Hope that helps.
Dec 22, 2010 7:07pm
Yummy! Thanks!!
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