Jiro Dreams of Sushi, a 2011 documentary film on a Japanese sushi chef, is worth watching. Jiro Ono, the sushi chef, has been working on sushi for more than almost 80 years. His sushi restaurant Sakiyabashi Jiro has been awarded 3 stars by the Michelin Guide.
Everyone sees different things from this film: some might say Jiro is a respectable chef, because he treats sushi as an art — to bring out the best taste of octopus, he massages it 40-50 minutes before serve; some might say he’s a workaholic who strictly sticks to his routine; some might say he is a harsh father, as he requires his two sons to follow his steps; and some might say it’s too hard to be his apprentice — you have to be willing to spend at least ten years on cleaning fish, using knives, cooking rice and other basic stuff.
Two things said by Jiro stuck with me, that I can related to my work, and many other things in life:
- Featured in TV shows, he’s also the “show man”, the one who makes and serves sushi. His visitors come to visit him, and imagine that he is the one who does everything to serve such good sushi. “It’s not,” he said, “all the preparation work is done before I serve them. 95% complete. I only do the easiest thing — to put the fish and rice together. That’s the easiest part. The hard work is done behind the scenes.”
- “To be a good chef, you have to have a good taste. You have to be picky about what you eat. If you don’t care about your food, how can you make great food for others?”