Akami te from chef Tyson Cole of Uchi.

Hot Luck’s Hi Lo event Friday night is a celebration of the dishes that got chefs excited about food and being a chef.

“Don’t try and make something super fancy, make something you’re really excited about,” fest co-founder Aaron Franklin told the chefs. For Uchi chef-partner Tyson Cole, that meant tuna and texture. When he first started learning to make sushi about 24 years ago, Cole says his first love was raw tuna. He loved a simple roll called a tekka maki, and says he used to eat one a day for years.

“I got addicted to that roll, and in turn to the tuna. Eventually I just started eating raw tuna sashimi,” Cole said. “And later, after many guests requests to make new dishes, started to pair tuna with all kinds of other ingredients.”

One example a Uchi: the tuna and goat cheese sashimi with Fuji apples and pumpkin seed oil, that’s been on the menu since day one.

Cole’s getting back in touch with his first love with a dish of akami te, fresh big eye tuna with raw watermelon served with a touch of nouc man (fish sauce with sugar and garlic), is one of the best bites you can imagine.


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