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In that post, she shows a photo of the famous Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant in a subway stop below the streets of Tokyo. I knew about Jiro because he is the only sushi chef to have earned three stars from Michelin. Christine's post reminded me that I've meaning to watch the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi (directed by David Gelb), which introduces us to the chef, his sons, and his staff. I watched it this week and just loved it.
Once you see this film, you'll have a crush on Jiro, whose personality is a wonderful mix of kind and exacting and humble yet proud. He has spent his life with a single focus, which is making the best sushi in the world. Although he's eighty-five, he still works every day. Although he's won the highest of honors, he still strives to better himself and to learn and invent new techniques.
Despite his narrow passion, Jiro has much to say about life outside the kitchen. In Jiro Dreams of Sushi, he talks about parenting, the work ethic, respect for the people he works with, his childhood, environmental issues, and his hopes for his sons. After watching the documentary, you'll agree that Jiro embodies the essence of shokunin (roughly translated as master craftsman or artisan), and you'll be inspired to reach for the same.
This movie won't teach you how to make sushi, but you'll see Jiro and his staff fashion the beautiful, creative items served in his little restaurant. If you want to taste sushi made my Jiro, make your reservation now; he's booked months in advance. It will cost you about $300 for his set sushi menu, which, according to Jiro Dreams of Sushi, will take you less than a half hour to eat.
This is a don't-miss film for everyone, not just those who have an interest in food. Take a look at the trailer and add this documentary to your watch list.