Calling All Sushi Lovers
JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI (2011/IN THEATERS) You might find yourself dreaming of Sushi, or better yet, heading off to get some after watching this wonderful documentary featuring 85 year old sushi master Jiro Ono (and his sons). Jiro has earned 3 Michelin stars for his tiny Sushi restaurant located in a subway stop in Tokyo and is completely devoted to perfection in his chosen field. During the movie, we learn much about him, above all his love of sushi and his dedication to the high standards he sets for every bite he serves and for all those who work with him. Rising every morning at 5:00 a.m., and often not home until 10:00 p.m. when he was younger, Jiro personally smells, tastes and supervises his small 10-seat domain. Diners must book ahead by as much as a year to get a seat. You will be amazed at the complexities of fish preparation (as well as rice and everything else) for perfect sushi–for example, massaging an octopus for a full 45 minutes to increase its “softness.” Wow…now we understand why good sushi is so expensive! Jiro emphasizes the need for an unrelenting search for perfection, and has passed this devotion on to his sons who have been trained to take over the business. In particular the film presents an inspiring portrait of Jiro’s oldest son Yoshikazu, now 50 and the eventual heir, who really runs much of the restaurant while working for his father. Yoshikazu exemplifies the traditions of Japan and the devotion of the oldest son to those traditions. Asked if he wanted to get into the Sushi restaurant business, he replies, “well, not really” but of course, there was no alternative and he is as passionate and quietly devoted as his father. This is the feature film debut of director David Gelb who uses exquisite music to underly his thoughtful and elegant meditation on work, family, and the art of perfection. Catch it on DVD if you miss it in theaters, and enjoy!