Chef Jeff Roberto knew he wanted to learn the art of sushi after he graduated from high school. But back in the mid-1980s, there were no culinary schools offering classes on the traditional techniques of sushi-making. He worked at a local sushi bar in San Diego, starting from the ground up, first washing dishes, learning how to make sushi rice, sushi rolling techniques, then learning knife skills from butchering a whole fish to the art of slicing the fish just right. During the end of his apprenticeship, the sushi bar he worked for started getting requests for sushi event catering. In the early 1990s, this was totally unheard of. Chef Jeff figured out how to transport the equipment and ingredients to a location where he could make sushi on-site. This was the start of a business model that he has sustained for over 20 years from catering home parties to large event catering at award shows.
Here’s a taste of some of the creations that Chef Jeff can whip up for your next event:
Bacon, Surimi (imitation crab), Avocado Roll is a different take on a California Roll. You’ve heard the saying, “Bacon makes everything taste better.” In this case, it definitely does. The bacon adds a crispy, smoky, salty flavor. The perfectly ripe avocado adds a creamy flavor and texture. The surimi adds a sweetness. It’s a perfectly balanced roll. It doesn’t need shoyu, but a light dip in it with wasabi, is just onolicious! Rating: 5/5
Spicy Tuna Roll is finely minced tuna with just the right amount of spicy flavor. The avocado on the outside adds a creamy flavor and beautiful presentation when it is cut. Rating: 4.5/5
Poke Salad is mixed with wakame (seaweed) salad, tuna, salmon, and tako (octopus) and garnished with avocado and burdock root “match sticks”. Beautiful presentation on the plate. A little more shoyu and sesame oil would do wonders, but refreshingly good as is. Rating: 4.5/5
Fuego Roll is surimi, jalapenos, and topped with minced spicy salmon and sriracha. The roll is beautifully presented and slightly spicy. There is an umami flavor play where spicy, sweet, salty, and sour meet all in one roll. Rating: 4.5/5
Sushi on a Roll has stepped into the competition world with Chef Keoni Simmons taking the lead with competition team including Chef Joe and Chef Paul. Chef Keoni finished in the Top 10 for the Sandwich Competition at the World Food Championships in 2014. Here is a riff on what he submitted for judging:
SOAR Boy is King’s Hawaiian Rolls deep-fried with a panko crust, sliced steak, avocado, carrots, and green onions. The panko-crusted roll is just amazing! The crispy, crunchy outside contrasts the sweet, fluffy interior of the roll. The steak is perfectly grilled to medium rare, juicy, and tossed in an Asian BBQ sauce. The avocado acts like a creamy aioli so sauce is not necessary. The carrots and green onions refresh the palate, almost like a Banh Mi sandwich. Rating: 5/5
Stay tuned as we follow Sushi on a Roll with their journey to this year’s World Food Championship in Kissimmee, FL this November. In the meantime, if you are interested in sushi classes or have a catering/event need, visit Sushi on a Roll’s website for more information.
Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 4 out of 5 stars
Food: 5 out of 5 stars
For more information:
1620 National Ave
San Diego, CA 92113