Jiro Dreams of Sushi

September 24, 2012

The movie of the week:  http://www.magpictures.com/jirodreamsofsushi/

I can’t begin to explain how great this movie is.  If you appreciate what a person can do with their innate talents, those who just luck into a job and strive to become the pinnacle of what they do, this is one of those movies for you.

This movie tells the story of Jiro Ono, the owner of a 3 Michelin star restaurant in Tokyo, Japan.  He seeks to perfect his sushi preparation skills, and is considered a National Treasure of Japan. The film also touches upon his two sons, a former apprentice (who downplays the sons in a slightly smarmy way), his current apprentices, the tradespeople he deals with on a daily basis, and a restaurant critic.

You’re shown how Jiro prepares sushi, from the techniques he uses to the manner of presentation. Nothing is elaborate, simplicity is the guiding principle. Freshness is a mainstay and highlighting the fish itself the goal.

I loved this movie on the personal and professional levels.  I’ve learned so much about cooking, and now I’m seeking out the minute details of technique and flavor and striving for perfection.

Jiro’s top five qualities for a chef:

  1. Take your job seriously to achieve the highest level.
  2. Constantly try to improve.
  3. Keep clean!
  4. Be impatient.
  5. Be passionate.

I saw this first in a theater, but it is also available on Amazon Prime. (And apparently on Netflix, too).  Watch it! But try to pick a time when you won’t be distracted.