“Jiro Dreams of Sushi” is a tribute to the art form of sushi. At the onset of this film, it is hard to imagine any meal that could be worth $240. But by the end, you will be ready to hop on a plane to Tokyo and pay your $240 to experience the artwork of this master sushi chef. This documentary is great because it is part biography and part food catalogue. In fact, this film was originally intended to highlight a diverse group of sushi chefs with different styles. However, when director David Gelb experienced visited Jiro’s Michelin three-star restaurant, he realized that the sushi was beyond anything else that he had ever tried and that Jiro was a compelling character that deserved his own story. You will learn so much about sushi during this documentary and will be making plans with friends for a sushi date before the end of the film. I was particularly interested in the main character’s routine to get the best ingredients from the fish market and the size of the enormous tuna. The sushi that this man crafts in his 10-seat restaurant is absolutely beautiful. In addition to Jiro’s high standards for fish and rice, you will also see his high standards for his apprentices. As he mentions, his front of the house part of the process is only 5% of the final product and the true quality of the experience stems from his team behind the scenes. It is also interesting to see how his passion rubbed off on his two sons, one of which opened his own sushi restaurant and the other who will succeed his father in running the flagship restaurant someday (even though he is already 50-years-old). “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” is a unique documentary, the likes of which we have never seen, as it combines a historical look at the development of sushi with a cooking tutorial and an expose on the life and career of Jiro Ono.
[Pictured: Jiro serves his 20-course sushi meal in his intimate restaurant]