Jiro Dreams of Sushi is about 85-year-old Jiro Ono, a three-Michelin-star sushi chef in Tokyo. He owns and operates a 10-seat sushi bar of incomparable quality. His standards are high and he has been obsessed with producing excellent sushi since he was a teenager.
I highly recommend this movie for anyone interested in food, anyone who wants to work with food professionally, or anyone who loves beautiful cinematography. You do not have to be into sushi to enjoy the film, although I think that helps.
The way the sushi was depicted was gorgeous, and the music complemented the subject matter very well. I was afraid that a movie about such a topic would get old, but the film artfully tells a variety of stories: Jiro’s relationships to his elders and sons, how Jiro achieves excellence, how he is developing future sushi masters, how it feels to be a student of Jiro, how Jiro sources his fish, etc. They even touch on the topic of overfishing and ecology.
A few quotes and ideas that stuck with me:
- Leaders want things their way and that is good. The job of a leader is to set clear expectations for others to achieve, not to be a collaborator or team member. This was Jiro’s approach and he got excellent results.
- Perfection is the mark of an excellent chef.
- Always striving to reach higher levels of performance is another mark of a great chef.
- In order to make delicious food you must eat delicious food.
- Movie Review: ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi,’ Directed by David Gelb (movies.nytimes.com)