Yes this documentary is about sushi, and if you come hungry, you'll be sorry. Not only does the eye feast upon the gem-like inventions 85-year-old Jiro Ono places singly on ceramic service plates. You also glimpse many of the subtleties of this exacting artform—toasting nori sheets over a hibachi, kneading a fresh octopus for 50 minutes, and so on.
But this film is not so much about the craft as the craftsman. It is the study of a master—his dedication, his discipline. Tokyo food critic Yamamoto Masuhiro, who appears frequently, says, "I have never seen a chef who is so hard on himself [as Jiro Ono]. He is never satisfied with his work." Since age nine, when he was expelled from home with no hope of return, Jiro has been shokunin, a craftsman who does the same thing day after day. Today his restaurant, with only ten seats and nothing but sushi, is recognized as Tokyo's finest. Reservations are a month out, and meals (which happen as fast as 15 minutes) cost a minimum of $300. Amazingly, the Michelin Guide has given Jiro's place its perfect rating of three stars, meaning that the eatery alone is worth the effort of traveling to that country.
Would-be masters of any craft have much to learn, and fear, from this man's example.
Sun, Jun 19th 3:00pm
Castle Theater - Maui Arts & Cultural Center