Perseverance and Repetition: Sushi, According to Alexis Luong, Is a Sequence of Precise Actions Learned Through a Radical Life Change.
Life is often unpredictable, and for Alexis Luong, the unexpected turn was his cousin's sushi kiosk opening inside a Carrefour supermarket about a decade ago. At that time, Alexis already had a thriving career as an accountant, and he thought he'd only deal with numbers, not rice and fish. However, the idea of that small kiosk suddenly captivated him, igniting a passion that had remained dormant until then.
A passion that made its way into his life and saw him working with renowned Japanese chefs in Courchevel, Nobu in Monaco, Paris, and London. Ten years of dedication, passion, and discipline led Alexis Luong to be crowned the French sushi champion in 2021, a title that took him to Japan to compete in the 2022 World Sushi Championship. "Being number 1 in France allowed me to face Japanese chefs and compete in the world championship, making it to the finals," he tells Actu Nice.
During his time in the Land of the Rising Sun, Alexis added the greatest satisfaction to his list of accomplishments: the respect of his Japanese colleagues. The results also marked the opening of Onaka, a Japanese cuisine restaurant launched in 2021 in Nice, along with his partner Alex Couvidat. Located at 12 Passage Masséna, Alexis, Alex, and their seven employees offer a menu that includes not only sushi but also hot and vegetarian dishes like tempura, gyoza, black cod, and miso eggplants. However, his greatest love remains sushi, which, for Alexis, is all about perseverance and repetition. "70% of the result depends on the rice, its cooking, and 30% on the fish. Sushi is all about balance: you can have high-quality fish and excellent rice, and the dish will still be delicious, but the reverse cannot be true. It's not easy. To those who think sushi is a simple, quickly assembled cold bite, I say it's not true. It's a highly technical dish," he tells Actu Nice.
Cover photos: Crediti ©Cyril Bottollier-Lemallaz / Actu Nice