“Jiro Dreams of Sushi” is an 81-minute documentary film, directed by David Gelb. And Jiro Ono, 85, is the first sushi chef to be awarded three Michelin stars for his Tokyo establishment, Sukiyabashi Jiro.
His 10-seat restaurant is located in the subway basement of the high-end Ginza district in Tokyo. In this tiny sushi bar, which does not even have a toilet inside, Jiro is renowned as the world’s greatest sushi chef. And Japan has declared him as a national treasure.
Exacting and demanding, Ono is considered a shokunin, a Japanese master craftsman dedicated to his craft in both a spiritual and material way for the greater good of the community. But for Jiro himself, the journey is not over.
“Even at my age, in my work I have not reached perfection. I will continue to climb, trying to reach the top, but no one really knows where the top is”, he says. Seeing some of his techniques in the movie, you realize how picky he is, in order to achieve perfection. I will give you an example, but many more are mentioned in the film: he always rubs the octopus for 50 consecutive minutes, before he uses it to create the perfect sushi.
In the film you shall also watch him explain the Japanese word “umami”, meaning “pleasant savory taste” and how this is reached in sushi by combining the fish with the rice. He is also talking about the threat of extinction, due to over-fishing.
He is constantly praising his team and especially his eldest son, who will take over, when and if he ever retires. His son is the one who makes now the every day shopping at the famous Tsukiji Fish Market, the Central Wholesale fish market of Tokyo.
“Jiro dreams of sushi” is a mouthwatering film, featuring the art of sushi and a must see for all you sushi lovers out there. You will be dreaming of sushi too, after seeing this delicious documentary.
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