No glove, no sushi love is the motto New York City’s Department of Health is following these days.
Earlier this week, the DOH shut down two of chef David Bouhadana’s sushi joints, Sushi Dojo and Sushi Dojo Express, because the chefs weren’t wearing gloves. “We were closed for one thing and one thing only, not wearing gloves. Sushi chefs are not supposed to wear gloves. 17 employees lost their job because the DOH has been harassing me for four months and threatening me for this issue,” Bouhadana told Eater.
According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Sushi Dojo received 21 violation points, 7 of which were due to bare hands. Its sister site, Sushi Dojo, received an astounding 75 violation points. “If neurosurgeons can operate with gloves, sushi chefs can use gloves to roll teka maki,” the DOH told Eater.
But Bouhadana isn’t going down without a fight. He is launching a crusade to “take back sushi” and he’s got some major supporters, including renowned chef Anthony Bourdain. “It’s the destruction of sushi as we know it. Body temperature fuels everything, the sensitivity to pick up the rice. This is not Subway, for f—‘s sake. This is something people have dedicated their lives to,” Bourdain said.
Last year, California passed a similar law regarding gloves that was eventually repealed because of how much controversy it stirred up. Let’s face it, in what fine dining establishment have you seen a chef wearing gloves? Exactly.
Now, you’ll have to excuse us. We’re headed to Sushi Nakazawa while we still can…