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March 26, 2012 / beatricebunny

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Friday night, my husband and I went to see the utterly charming film, Jiro Dreams of Sushi.  The film is a documentary about Jiro Ono, an 85 year old man, who is widely regarded as the world’s greatest sushi chef.  His restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, only seats 10 people (at the sushi bar).  It is located in a Tokyo subway station and it only serves sushi.  It is the only restaurant of its kind to have three Michelin Stars.

The film is beautifully shot and the soundtrack is impressive.  What struck me most though is the simplicity of Ono’s technique and ethos.  Use quality ingredients, consider all the senses, taste, taste, taste.

If I were to distill everything I’ve learned about cooking over the past few years, it would be these same lessons.  Use the best ingredients that you can find, taste as you cook, and consider all aspects of the meal.  Mr. Ono epitomizes this ethos.  His son goes to the fish market every morning and they decide the day’s menu based on what is freshest and tastes the best.  What is in season?  What is fresh?  What tastes best?  He manages each aspect of the restaurant, including the seating of the guests.  He plates sushi one piece at a time, aiming for the perfect temperature for each piece.  A restaurant critic, speaking of his menu, likened it to a symphony with three distinct movements: standards, improvisations, and a playful ending.

The movie is lovely and thoughtful and inspiring.  I highly recommend it.

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