Local sushi chef can say she's a rarity: proves women can accomplish anything

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POSTED: Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 6:33pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 7:06pm

Louisiana is known for its fresh fish and an abundance of seafood. In Baton Rouge, one sushi restaurant has a special way of bringing those to the table.

Tsunami restaurant overlooks the Mississippi. It’s right downtown in the Shaw center. But this steakhouse and sushi restaurant has more than just good food

One woman on the staff is unique; that’s because she's the head sushi chef!

In Japan they say sushi is a man's world, but here in Louisiana, that's far from the truth.

"It’s rare,” said head sushi chef, Tracy Nguyen. “It’s really rare, so it makes me feel special."

This young Vietnamese woman is one of very few women in the industry who hold this very position behind the sushi counter.

"With being a female in the position it’s harder to get the guys to look up to you."

But she does get them to listen and she does it with ease. Tracy Nguyen has worked at tsunami for 6 years but recently was promoted. Now she can say she's one in a million.

“I think its empowering because it's not typical or even traditional because that's not what they are looking for."

It’s something she's extremely proud of. She is both obtaining a degree while managing a restaurant.

“I put in a lot of hours. I tried really hard at this; it's not something I learned overnight."

Nguyen walked into Tsunami six years ago, only looking to wait tables but now, years later, she's above all the rest.

“Obtaining the head position was a big overcoming of an obstacle here. After spending 6 years here and watching everyone come and go, it’s motivating,” said Nguyen. “Even seeing the skills, I see how great they are.”

So next time you see Tracy behind the counter, ask for her specialty, the dragon roll. You will know its coming from a woman with a lot of experience and passion behind her.

Nguyen is also studying for a degree in biology at LSU. She's working and going to school full time.

She says she will probably stay in the business to hopefully become the best at what she does.

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