Jiro Dreams of Sushi David Gelb

Jiro Dreams of Sushi David Gelb
While channel surfing, it's nearly impossible not to come across some vapid food-related program, or worse, a reality program centered upon cooking that barely focuses on the culinary aspects. This is why David Gelb's Jiro Dreams of Sushi comes as such a delight, going against the grain, diving headfirst into the art of sushi and providing us with a vivid portrait of a remarkable character while at the same time revealing a world otherwise unknown. Considered the world's greatest sushi chef, Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old shokunin (a master of his profession at the highest degree), operates a small ten-seat restaurant in the belly of the Tokyo underground subway. Shockingly, this wee, bamboo-gated shop has been designated a three-star Michelin award restaurant that is reservation only, with a waiting list over a month long. It is shortly after we are introduced to Jiro and witness his skill that we begin to understand why his meal of 20 pieces of sushi lasts only 15 minutes and costs over $300 (making it one of the most expensive restaurant experiences in the world). No other sushi restaurant anywhere approaches Jiro's exceptionally high standards. He is obsessed, to the point where he lives a life of repetition, travelling the same path to and from his restaurant, going about his daily regiment with no desire to stray. His belief is that perfection comes from his dedicated repetition and constantly strives for improvement. While Gelb follows Jiro through his typical day, touching upon his upbringing and family (his two sons are both involved in the sushi business), the best moments arise from the sushi. Intense close-ups of the fish, rice and finished product are delectable, inducing salivation, as well as an appreciation for the artistry of the craft. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a testament to those that aspire to be the very best, affording viewers an enlightening journey paying homage to the old maxim, "Hard work pays off." (eOne)