Sushi Dojo and its Gansevoort Market spinoff Dojo Express have been closed since the last week in October, when the DOH inspectors found a number of violations including chefs handling raw fish without gloves. Since then, chef David Bouhadana has been mounting a campaign to get the the DOH to change its rules regarding how sushi makers work with seafood. "I did not make the choice, it chose me," Bouhadana explains.
The chef is launching a Change.org petition aimed at convincing the DOH to change its rules. Bouhadana suggests that one option would be allowing chefs to continue to use their bare hands with a note on the menu indicating the potential risks, in the same way that some restaurants have notes about consuming raw seafood and meat. Bouhadana suggests that restaurants could also have signs indicating that the chefs use their bare hands. Last year, members of the hospitality industry launched a similar online petition against a glove law in California. It was repealed in July 2014.
Some NYC sushi chefs chose to ignore the glove rule entirely, while many of them use their bare hands until the inspector comes in. Last week, a rep for the DOH told Eater: "The Health Department has seen widespread compliance throughout the City's sushi restaurants, and there are no plans to change the Health Code's rule about bare hand contact with ready to eat food."
In the video above David talks with Eater's Kat Odell about his goals for this new campaign.