Saturday, April 7, 2012

How to make the best sushi in the world

At 85, [Jiro] Ono is the acknowledged master of his art. Michelin gave Sukiyabashi Jiro a rare three-star rating, meaning that it’s “worth traveling to the country just to eat there.” Superstar chef Anthony Bourdain has bowed down and declared his unworthiness, and the Japanese government has named Jiro a living national treasure. In person, he’s smiling but ascetic, a lean, weathered artisan whose devotion to his craft is complete. Gelb’s camera follows him to the Tsukiji fish market, where we get a hint of what makes Ono’s sushi stand out from the pack (he has special arrangements with vendors whose standards are as exacting as his). Would you be willing to massage an octopus for 45 minutes, until its flesh possesses just the right amount of chewability? Jiro is. “It always has to taste better than last time,” he says.