Vegetarian’s Choice BeyondSushi – Interview with celebrity chef Guy Vaknin

By Peggy Lin

Sweet Tree, Green Machine, and Pickle Me are only a few of BeyondSushi’s tasty and innovative vegetarian rolls. All of BeyondSushi’s ingredients are natural and healthy with no added preservatives.

Hell’s Kitchen finalist and Executive Chef, Guy Vaknin, brings us the 100% vegetarian sushi restaurant located in lower Manhattan. Five years ago, Chef Guy was working at a catering company as an Executive Chef. His idea of opening a vegetarian sushi restaurant came when he realized that there had to be a healthier choice of food, yet still maintaining great taste. He wanted to enhance vegetables and other wholesome, healthy foods in a way that people would love to eat.

When you think about sushi, white rice and seaweed is your initial thought is probably “how ordinary!” At BeyondSushi, it is anything but ordinary. Instead of white rice, Chef Guy gives consumers nutritious glutenfree black rice or a healthy six grain rice. The mixture of vegetables, spices and sauces in all the rolls can not be beat and they are all different in their own unique way. BeyondSushi customers love the Sweet Tree roll, which has avocado and sweet potato wrapped in six grain rice, decoratively topped with alfalfa sprouts. Another customer favorite is Spicy Mang – avocado, mango, cucumber and spicy veggie wrapped in black rice. Several varieties of optional savory sauces can be added to your rolls as well. Aside from sushi, their homemade drinks such as the cucumber and mint lemonade drink, or the basil ginger ale are definitely worth a try and a perfect beverage to enjoy after your meal.

The store design stays true to the vegetarian feel, using recycled materials and wood with soft lighting. BeyondSushi has a calm and relaxing vibe, with local residents coming in and out as well as people walking past the store stopping in to try out the newly opened restaurant.

Discovering that Chef Guy became vegetarian, not only because of being truly dedicated and committed to his work, but because he strived for a more healthy lifestyle and diet, is inspirational and enough for me to contemplate attaining that same kind of lifestyle.