“Shushi” Chef Francisco Antonio Blanco

The story of “Shushi” began in 1990 when, while still in high school, Francisco Antonio Blanco tasted sushi for the first time and fell in love with its unique taste profile and explosive flavors—and the notion was born that he might learn to make sushi while also saving money.

The sushi rolling began at his home, then at friends parties, where he would “volunteer” to make sushi for the love of food and to perfect his craft. It also didn’t hurt that his budding skills seemed to make him more popular with the ladies at Southwest Miami Senior High. But no matter how good his rolls got his traditional Cuban parents refused to eat the raw seafood in the sushi he was making.

Undaunted, one day Franco Antonio had the idea to take his mother’s traditional Cuban dishes and roll them in the form of maki rolls—to appeal to his parent’s palette.

After tasting her son’s Cuban-style sushi filled with black beans and rice, pork, sweet plantains, avocado, yuca, and mojo, mama fell in love with the explosion flavors in one bite—and accidentally coined the name “Shushi” because her Spanish accent prevented her from accurately pronouncing the word sushi.

This moment changed Franco’s journey as an amateur chef. He began to experiment with the world’s most popular cooked dishes which he transformed into robust sushi-type rolls which of course he dubbed Shushi.

He continued to perfect his craft throughout his professional life as a supplier in the wine & spirits world and as a volleyball coach at the high school and university level—moonlighting Shushi parties at friend’s homes throughout the years. Unexpectedly, his passion became his primary occupation as his growing clientele led to the creation of Shushi Catering in 2012.

In 2016, his dream of having a tasting room became a reality when he founded the House of Food Porn, in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood. There you’ll find Chef Franco Antonio creating his unique Shushi magic with his “Amicasa” style reservation-only tasting experiences.