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Sumo party at the Brooklyn Kitchen

Big in Japan: Williamsburg foodie dishes up sumo screening party

for The Brooklyn Paper
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It is a sumo sampler!

A Williamsburg kitchenware store and cooking school will bring a taste of the traditional Japanese sport to Brooklyn with a sumo-themed party on May 16, where it will project the latest wrestling matches from Tokyo onto a six-foot screen while guests chow down on Japanese food and booze. It is an event you won’t find at any of the borough’s sports bars, said an organizer.

“There’s no other place in Brooklyn to have this experience,” said Harry Rosenblum, co-founder of Brooklyn Kitchen.

The Williamsburg resident said he created the event after a friend fell in love with the sport while traveling in Japan, and decided to bring it back home with him to New York.

“He ended up going to a sumo match, and he came back raving about it,” said Rosenblum. “He said, ‘Nobody knows anything about sumo in New York — let’s do something about that!’ ”

In a sumo wrestling match, two colossal combatants try to knock each other off their feet or out of the ring. Each bout lasts only a few minutes, but there can be as many as 20 matches on each day of a two-week tournament. Brooklyn Kitchen won’t show the events live, because of the 13-hour time difference from Tokyo, but Rosenblum said he will feature the most exciting of the day’s throw-downs at the three-hour sumo party.

And he said he still hopes to recreate the feeling of attending the tournament in a real sumo stadium. Each spectator will get a traditional bento box with rice, meat, and pickles, along with plenty of Orion beer, cold sake, and Nikka premium Japanese whiskey.

“We’ll be eating, drinking, and watching sumo,” said Rosenblum.

Rosenblum will also be serving chankonabe, a hearty stew he says sumo wrestlers eat to help them put on weight. On the day of a match, the gargantuan grapplers nosh on a version made with poultry because the wrestlers must always be on two legs, like a chicken, he said.

Saturday’s event is designed to whet Brooklynites’ appetites for more, Rosenblum said. If it goes well, Brooklyn Kitchen will host another party when the next of the six annual tournaments happens in July. Rosenblum said he isn’t sure how many sumo fans there are in Brooklyn — yet — but he plans to change that.

“We hope to find them — or make them!” he said.

Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Oh, how to say this without being offensive??? I'm going to try, and, please accept my apologies in advance.
Most of you are familiar with the Wasserman appetite; it is shall we say: an appetite of assumption. You assume the Wasserman is a light eater (considering the slim build). But...
But then-and I know many of you have not yet had the pleasure of dining with yours truly-it hits you. John Wasserman can out-eat a *team of full grown Mountain Gorillas* in one sitting.
Having said that, the above drawing is enough to spoil the appetite of your own John Wasserman.
Pardon the interruption.
John Wasserman
May 13, 2015, 10:07 am
Other J. Wasserman from Crown Heights says:
John Wasserman is back!
May 13, 2015, 1:28 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
That is, as they say, a "nice try" but not a true Wasserman. I may have been absent for some time but I can assure you, if you do not mind my saying so, that I am still well and truly "here."

Moreover, I will posit that, while I am a huge fan of sumo wrestling, I do recognize these men are not "over eaters" as one might wrongly assume given their large stature, and thus they do not "spoil the appetite of your own John Wasserman" as our friendly Wasserposter proposes at 11:07 when I was on a lovely bicycle ride through blooming Prospect Park.

And, if it is not too much to add, I will say that these men should not be "confused" for your typical American Midwestern or Southerner because of their girth. They are strong, well trained, in-shape athletes. I would like "nothing more" than to see them in full action.

Thank you for your continued reading,
John Wasserman
May 13, 2015, 1:51 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
I found the above post to be just a tad forced. Too many quotation marks. Better luck next time, and good day to you.
John Wasserman
May 13, 2015, 2:08 pm

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