I have a folder in my Google Reader called “AA blogs” and things can pile up there. Sometimes I end up kicking myself because I missed something and indeed I did a little when I learned about the film, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, a week later than I otherwise would have.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary film released on the film festival circuit in 2011 and explores the life and work (running a small but splendid sushi restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station) of Jiro Ono who is now 85 years old. He has the highest passion for his work and trained his employees and son, Yoshikazu very well. Jiro still works every day because he’s of the work ethic that he will break down if he stops and he seems fit to work anyhow. His son is ready to take over and is 60 years old so there is a little bit of subtle humour running through the interviews with the son (who is absolutely nothing but respectful and humble) and the much younger apprentices. If everything is as it seems, Jiro has the greatest and most dedicated crew on the planet.
The film takes you through preparation for service including stringent testing of all the fish that will be used, Yoshikazu’s daily visit to the crazy fish and seafood market, a mention of the dwindling fish stocks compared to yore, and a hometown visit for Jiro. A food critic, Yamamoto, who is a loyal and knowledgeable Jiro “groupie” gives interviews with a praising critic’s perspective.
Tuna is the star fish and nigiri stole the show. As the film’s trailer shows, there are ample shots of sushi making and placement just right onto a shiny black plate with the glistening slice of fish settling on the sushi rice, set to the ethereal classical music soundtrack and it is most definitely food/sushi porn and brings on a sushi craving.