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Raw Spiel 

Stow teacher reveals the secrets of sushi.

Naomi Ducharme gives props to her Japanese-born mother before she teaches her Sushi Rollin' workshop tonight in Akron. And to hear Ducharme tell it, you'll think you're in Mom's Tokyo kitchen before you know it. "It's actually very simple to make. The difficult part is making the presentation look nice," says the 24-year-old Ducharme, a math teacher and soccer coach at Stow High School. "The first couple of times you try, it's not going to look pretty."That's where she comes in. As part of the Akron Art Museum's Everyday Art workshop series, Ducharme will talk you through some of the tips she picked up as a kid when she'd make summer trips to her mom's homeland. Good thing, too — because Japanese cuisine was rare in her native Cincinnati. "I remember sushi being around all the time when I was growing up, but that was eating in Japan or eating at home," says Ducharme. "I don't ever remember sushi restaurants being around when I was younger."But she quickly learned her mother's techniques. For starters, it's all in the prep work, from shopping for "sushi-grade" fish to making rice sticky enough so that it can firmly hold veggies like carrots and cucumbers. And you know you've mastered the rolling when it looks yummy on the plate. "Looking through recipe books, it's hard to figure it out just by looking at pictures. The neat thing is that you can use your favorite veggies or fish in there," says Ducharme. "I can walk around and show people, and they can learn how to make it on their own." Get rolling from 6 to 8 tonight at the Akron Art Museum, 1 South High Street in Akron. Fee is $35 ($25 for museum members). Registration is required. Call 330-376-9186 or visit
Thu., Feb. 21, 6-8 p.m., 2008

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