Writer: Alex Auer, Contributing Writer Photographer: Alex Auer
One of Drew University’s hardest workers, Lou, arrives at the Ehinger Center at 7:30 a.m. everyday. If you are not familiar with Lou, he is the sushi chef in the E.C. and prepares fresh sushi Monday through Friday. Not only does he work long hours, but he has a far commute to campus. He is dedicated, consistent, and knows how to make some delicious sushi. Lou has been in the sushi business for 18 years. He explained to me that he starts his day by cleaning the fish to make sure there is no skin on it. “Cleaning the fish to perfection tends to take a couple of hours,” Lou explained. After cleaning the fish Lou then cuts it into very thin slices. He uses a sharp knife that he dips into hot water so that the fish is cut precisely. This only takes about 45 minutes because he does not cut all the fish at once so that it stays fresh.
The first set of rolls that he makes are the shrimp tempura rolls; he does this because the shrimp has to be fried and needs time to cool off before he puts it into the cold rice. Since Lou has been in this industry for quite some time he has learned that, as he noted, “Cleanliness is the key to success.” He washes his hands about 15 times a day and wears gloves to make sure the fish remains fresh and clean. On an average day, Lou makes around 150 rolls, depending on if people order different types of rolls. He mentioned that he enjoys when people approach him and ask him to make them a roll. The sushi sells faster then anything at the E.C. “It’s fresh so we take advantage of that,” said Chris Worden (’18). Lou continues to make sushi because he is passionate about it.
Next time you are in the EC, stop by the sushi station and talk to Lou. If you have the time, ask him to make you a roll and you will see why he is one of the hardest working chefs on campus. “Lou’s sushi is the best in the area,” Dylan Blanke-White (’17) said. Lou goes the extra mile here at Drew and is also starting to expand his menu by creating sushi bowls, which consist of white rice, tempura flakes, hot sauce, kale, salmon and tuna. This new healthy addition is a great option for any student or faculty member that is looking to have a quick meal on the way to their next class for fewer than ten dollars. Thanks to Lou, and Drew University for hiring him, sushi will always be exceptional at Drew.