2023 Sushi Master Competition grand final!

On Tuesday 11th July, we held the Sushi Master Competition grand final at Ponsonby. Check out our staff’s amazing speed and creativity! Staff competed to create their own unique sushi, as well as roll the best classic chicken avocado roll like in the semis.

30 staff competed, flying in from as far away as Christchurch, Nelson, Hawke’s Bay and New Plymouth. The regional staff made a day of it, visiting the Onehunga drive thru and Newmarket K10 before the big final – and big it certainly was! Friends, family and fellow staff members came down to provide support, making for a lively atmosphere. Just as well we closed the Ponsonby shop for the evening so everyone could make plenty of noise and enjoy the fun! Staff had 15 minutes to take any of our dozens of regular ingredients – and one ingredient they could bring along – to create an original sushi masterpiece. Check out some of the creations – and the focus of the artists!

  The judges were K10 head chef Yoshi, director Nick, and head of national operations Takeshi – and they had a tough task in front of them! Staff received points in five categories: Creativity & flair, taste, appearance, practicality (can we sell it?) and marketability (customer appeal). It was a tough job telling the entries apart – could you do it?

In case your taste buds weren’t tempted by all the amazing photos… just sit back and watch the sushi train roll by 🙂

Apart from the creativity challenge, staff still had the classic test, same as the Wellington, Christchurch, south/east Auckland and central Auckland round: roll one classic teriyaki chicken avocado sushi as best as possible, for good appearance, speed, weight and food safety. The focus and effort was next level!

Area manager Lili explaining the challenge
Staff fully focused on Lili’s explanations!
Pasang from Nelson showing great care and attention to detail!
Yohanes from Rotorua showing his speed and experience!
Partner Tony Shen from Bombay was flying along!


After a close competition, it was time for the awards! The fastest sushi roller was Bam from Ponsonby, and three entries were tied for the most beautiful creation: Yohanes from Rotorua, Amanda from Botany, and Stacy from Ponsonby. Hometown advantage seemed to have helped!  

Then came the three big prizes: Supattra from Hastings won the master chef creation section and Jin from New Plymouth was the best overall sushi roller. Finally, the grand prize of a $2,500 travel voucher went to… Amber from Silverdale! Well done everyone!

(After some confusion!) Nick presented the prizes with customary good humour
Amber celebrates her victory!

And don’t think that everyone else went home unhappy. Everyone of course got to take home their own sushi, a catered meal from one of Auckland’s best Chinese restaurants, and to try as much of everyone else’s creations as they wanted! It was a genuine gourmet evening!

Unique creations which were beautiful to look at – and eat!


Only half the rolls the contestants created!

Finally, as you’ve probably noticed, all competitors in the finals got a special T-shirt with their name on the back. Staff can wear this shirt any time in their home shop, so if you see someone with a sushi master T-shirt, ask them about the competition – and how you can step up to the challenge next year! See you all soon!  

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