Chef Michael Marcus
Michael Marcus has been a potter for over 35 years. He apprenticed as a potter in Japan for four years, studying wood-fired glazed and unglazed wares, Chado, the Japanese tea ceremony, and later, Japanese Sushi Cuisine. His ceramics are collected internationally, and used in Japanese restaurants such as Nobu and Hatsuhana in New York City. His special focus and passion is in the harmonizing of hand made tableware with food presentation, often using his own, wood-fired dishes, new-born out of the kiln, for some special sushi delicacy. He is proprietor and head sushi chef of Bizen Gourmet Japanese Restaurant, and Bizen Kaiseki in the Berkshires. Michael has a gift for sharing his profound understanding of Japanese culture. He shares this knowledge by teaching The Way of Sushi as Spiritual Practice at the Kripalu, Omega and Kushi Institutes.
Great Barrington, MA
About the Restaurant
Bizen Sushi serves premium sushi and traditional Japanese food in a relaxed yet fashionable setting. Three tatami rooms, furnished with mats and shoji screens, create a calming ambiance. A robata bar, which serves tapas-like small plates, satisfies nibblers. Locals and visitors alike rave about the quality of the sushi--couriered in by Nobu's distributor--while sake lovers rejoice in the impressive selection of small-batch offerings. You can also get a wide variety of noodle dishes, tempuras, teriyakis, and other vegetarian, chicken and fish dishes. The traditional Robata grill turns out items like grilled Japanese jalapenos, eggplant, squid, and duck. The food gets uniformly high praise, and among Bizen’s regular customers is macrobiotic master Michio Kushi. Desserts hold up their end of the bargain admirably. The sake lounge features Japanese estate microbrewery sakes.
The restaurant’s name comes from an ancient Japanese art form known as bizen. Owner/sushi chef Michael Marcus studied the bizen pottery technique as an apprentice in Japan for four years. It is an unusual firing process on unglazed ceramic that makes the pieces look as if they’ve come out of an old tomb or straight out of the earth. The décor is authentic and made of natural materials: woven tatami floors made in Japan, mahogany tables, and shoji rice paper screens.