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March 03, 2012

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro-dreams-of-sushi-3As you might imagine from the documentary’s title, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” is a character study/biography of a master sushi chef named Jiro. The 85-year-old Jiro Ono’s 10-seat restaurant—located in the Tokyo subway system—has received dining’s highest ranking of three Michelin stars. Reservations are booked a month in advance. A true master of his craft, Jiro has taught his two sons to follow in his footsteps. Jiro’s oldest son Yoshikazu, 50, works directly under his father, preparing the most amazing sushi in the world.

Director David Gelb provides a crash-course in the stratified world of Tokyo fish markets from which Yoshikazu chooses the very best cuts of fish. The master chef lives by a simple set of rules that include things such as maintaining cleanliness and taking his job seriously. Here is a man attempting to live as modestly as possible in the service of the work he loves doing. There’s nothing flashy about David Gelb’s serviceable rendering of a man who has achieved an unrivaled mastery of a cuisine he helped invent. You too might come away from the movie craving Jiro Ono’s sushi, whether or not you like raw fish.

Rated PG. 81 mins. (B) (Three Stars - out of five/no halves)

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