Griffith, who has the distinction of being the first female graduate of the California Sushi Academy and one of the few female certified sushi chefs in the world, has compiled her creative new sushi recipes into a book called Sushi American Style. The delicious, raw fish-free fare is also available (as of Monday) in NYC Dean & Deluca stores, and is coming to the rest of the country in 2010.
So, what's it all about? We had a quick chat with Tracy at the New York Times building store and sampled all the sushi in the gallery below.
Luxist: So, Tracy, you developed all these rolls yourself, right?
Tracy Griffith: Yes, for my cookbook, Sushi American Style.
L: What was your inspiration?
TG: My inspiration was sushi customers in LA. I worked in a sushi bar and they always ordered California rolls, and I was like "Why?"
L: Why indeed!
TG: They said "I don't like raw fish." So many people are afraid of, or don't like, raw fish. So, being a chef, I had to start making something else besides California rolls. I started thinking, "What's good with white rice?" It's a very neutral base, like pasta or bread, so [I made the] BLT roll after my favorite sandwich, and Green Goddess, because it's so great with asparagus. Chicken Run has chili-garlic peanuts on it because I was in Bali, and in Bali they put chili-garlic peanuts on everything, and I thought, "Wouldn't that be good?" So, that's how it all started; it was for customers who don't eat raw fish.
L: What are people saying so far?
TG: Oh, they love it! Actually, it's kind of funny, because they walk in and look at me like "What?" and then they taste it and go "Oh, wow! That's great!"
Click through the gallery to see our tasting notes on all the new American sushi that you'll find at Dean & Deluca.
Gallery: American Sushi by Tracy Griffith