As fresh as it gets: Sushi chef Luiz Hirata, left, with site manager James Ronald, centre, and senior marine operative Max Carter during a visit to a Bakkafrost Scotland marine site.
As fresh as it gets: Sushi chef Luiz Hirata, left, with site manager James Ronald, centre, and senior marine operative Max Carter during a visit to a Bakkafrost Scotland marine site.

‘If I were to define the Scottish market in one word, that word would be quality’

Brazilian sushi chefs impressed by traceability of seafood and antibiotic-free salmon policy

Published Last updated

A Brazilian sushi chef has praised the quality of Scottish salmon after visiting a Bakkafrost Scotland site in Loch Fyne.

Marcelo Shiraishi was one of four Brazilian sushi chefs hosted by the salmon farmer as part of a five-day visit to Scotland organised by UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) and Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs and supported by Seafood Scotland.

The trade mission to promote UK seafood and boost exports included visits to Peterhead fish market and Denholm Seafoods’ processing factory before chefs crossed the country to Bakkafrost.

Shiraishi, who assumed the presidency of the Brazilian Association of Japanese Gastronomy in 2022, was impressed by both the caught and farmed fish he saw.

“If I were to define the Scottish market in one word, that word would be quality. That’s because we could see, in Peterhead’s fish market, the high level of requirement regarding the tracking of the ingredients.

[The UK has] the finest and best quality seafood, which we enjoyed preparing and tasting with our hosts. We hope to be serving some in Brazil soon.

Regis Sasaki

“This means that people know exactly where the fish that are consumed came from, how they were fished and in which region they were fished. These are all very relevant information for the final consumer.

“Another thing that caught our attention was the salmon farming - avoiding the use of antibiotics, the cleaning and the care while dealing with the species. These factors are extremely positive.”

Passion and dedication

Brazil is home to the largest Japanese community outside of Japan. Sushi, which demands the highest quality salmon, is extremely popular in the country, with São Paolo home to 500 Japanese restaurants, five of which have Michelin stars.

Another of the chefs, Regis Sasaki, said: “There is so much passion, dedication and high-quality standards in the UK seafood industry, along with full traceability.

“They have the finest and best quality seafood, which we enjoyed preparing and tasting with our hosts. We hope to be serving some in Brazil soon.”

Adam Wing, head of trade marketing at Seafood Scotland, said: “I was particularly encouraged by the comments from the guests which reinforced what we already knew - that seafood from Scotland is amongst the best in the world.

“We look forward to working with DIT to develop opportunities for our industry in Brazil and beyond.”

From left: sushi chefs Marcelo Shiraishi, Regis Sasaki, Cris Mori, and Luiz Hirata (holding salmon), with site manager James Ronald, Julie Waites (DIT), Debra Lok (Defra), Gabriela Meucci (DIT), Esther Dixon (DIT), and Bakkafrost Scotland product manager Bethany Louden.
From left: sushi chefs Marcelo Shiraishi, Regis Sasaki, Cris Mori, and Luiz Hirata (holding salmon), with site manager James Ronald, Julie Waites (DIT), Debra Lok (Defra), Gabriela Meucci (DIT), Esther Dixon (DIT), and Bakkafrost Scotland product manager Bethany Louden.
The joys from Brazil: Luis Harata, left, and Cris Mori showcase their talents with Scottish salmon.
The joys from Brazil: Luis Harata, left, and Cris Mori showcase their talents with Scottish salmon.