- Benihana is famous for their chefs’ teppanyaki cooking tricks like bouncing eggs, tossing shrimp, and creating a flaming onion volcano.
- We visited their flagship location to learn what it takes to be a Benihana chef.
- We learned how to make signature dishes like Benihana’s chicken fried rice as well as how to execute some of their coolest tricks.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Irene: If you’ve been to a Benihana, you know that the chef is the star of the show. We decided to find out just how hard it is to be a teppanyaki cooking master. I mean, what could go wrong?
What it takes to be a Benihana chef
Irene: I’m here today at Benihana with Chef Andrey who’s gonna be teaching me how to be a Benihana chef.
Chef Andrey: Yes, are you ready?
Irene: I don’t know, I’m a little scared. How long have you been a Benihana chef?
Chef: Since 8 o’clock in the morning. I’m kidding. I was working for the company six years.
Irene: How long did it take you to become a Benihana chef?
Chef: So Benihana program is three months. You can become the chef, but to full experience, to have good tricks, you need to have like a year.
Irene: A year, wow, OK. Is there a dish that everyone really gets excited about?
Chef: Oh, I would say the Benihana signature is chicken fried rice.
Irene: Is that your favourite to make, or?
Chef: Yes, because a lot of tricks, a lot of jokes you can make.
Irene: Nice, and do you have a favourite trick?
Chef: I would say hat trick. So you can flip, you can toss very well. You can sometimes, it can drop.
Irene: Wow, is that your best trick?
Chef: We’ll see.
Irene: You think you’re gonna be able to teach me how to do it?
Chef: You’ll do it.
Irene: Ready to teach me?
Chef: Yes, I do ready.
Irene: All right, let’s go.
Chef: Let’s do it.
Irene: I have to adjust it, my head’s too big.
Trick 1: Shrimp toss
Chef: So I’ll take three.
Chef: And you’ll take three. Put on the oil. Here we go.
Irene: All right.
Chef: Now, we’re gonna…
Irene: Off to a strong start, oh no what’s happening?
Chef: Pull it and flip it over.
Irene: I can do that.
Chef: Here we go. Put it together.
Chef: So take it, cut off.
Chef: Cut in the middle.
Irene: Take one.
Chef: Take one, cut off the tail.
Chef: Move it.
Irene: Move it, middle.
Chef: Twice in the middle.
Chef: Cut in half, this way.
Chef: This way. Here we go, push it. Good, so while appetizer is cooking, we’re gonna play with the shrimp tails.
Irene: OK, we’re gonna play with the tails?
Chef: Here we go.
Irene: What am I doing wrong here?
Chef: Nothing wrong.
Chef: Just do that, like force it. Force it up. Yeah.
Chef: Here we go, you’ve got it. It’s OK, just throw in your hat.
Chef: Good job.
Trick 2: Onion volcano and train
Chef: So the onion, you have to separate the parts. And just put it back over. Just rebuild it.
Irene: Stack it back on top?
Irene: Oh man, how do you not break it?
Chef: Let me show you the trick.
Chef: So if you do it at front, you have control and you see where you’re putting them.
Chef: Choo choo!
Trick 3: Egg roll and toss
Chef: We’re gonna do egg roll.
Irene: Egg roll, OK.
Chef: You spin it, kind of like that. It’s OK, help you out.
Irene: This might just be the hardest thing. Oh, my God, OK.
Chef: You get it?
Irene: I think it’s stuck. It’s travelling.
Chef: It’s OK. So now I’m gonna toss the egg. Get it? Now your turn.
Trick 4: Beating heart fried rice
Chef: Now we have to mix up all ingredients together. Right in the middle, mix it up. Go at it, yeah. We might hire you.
Chef: So now we’re gonna just season it. Wanna try? Yeah, making noise!
Off camera: Try it again, Irene.
Chef: Hold like this.
Irene: I’m going to hold it like that?
Chef: Yeah, and make noise. There you go. OK, now we’re gonna shape the heart.
Irene: A heart.
Chef: First of all, we have to make triangle.
Chef: Mhm. All rice together. Here we go.
Irene: Wow, we have a heart.
Chef: Benihana heartbeat.
Bonus round: Rice bowl toss
Chef: Hold it, kind of towards to you.
Irene: OK, you know what, we’re just gonna…
Off camera: Oh, she warned us.
Irene: So how do you think I did?
Chef: You did a great job.
Irene: Did I?
Chef:Yes, you did.
Irene: Time to say goodbye…
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