Reflecting and sharing my thoughts to the world is nothing new. I’ve been doing it for years. In the dark abyss of the internet, you may be able to find VERY OLD entries that are embarrassingly full of teen angst and fortunately under a different alias. My close friends know that I’m relatively private so nowadays it’s rare to divulge on anything personal…maybe it’s time to do something different. Before I start my posts about my New York adventures and gluttony, I wanted to share how a simple plane ride heading to the city changed my views on food and about myself.
Once I found my seat, I made myself comfortable, propped open my Macbook, and scanned what kind of movies I saved. I immediately picked Jiro Dreams of Sushi as I’ve wanted to see it since it came out last year. It’s a beautiful documentary about Jiro Ono, a great sushi master and owner of a 3 star sushi restaurant. What’s remarkable is it’s the first sushi only restaurant to be awarded three star Michelin rating and this humble gem is located in a train station and seats 10 people.
The documentary is beautifully made with simple yet elegant images of his life, his family and staff, and the art of making sushi. It was an emotionally evoking film for me. One of the immediate things I took away from this film is to enjoy the ‘umami’ of food and find that moment of ‘ahh’ when you taste something so good it’s beyond words. When that first bite is so indescribable, you just have to close your eyes and savor it.
The film is also about discovering what you are meant to do, appreciating those who positively affect your life, being disciplined and seeking perfection for your art. Every move Jiro makes when he creates one piece of sushi is done with purpose and clarity. The movie delves into how Jiro tirelessly finds ways to improve his technique, create new dishes, and enhance the eating experience. What spoke to me about Jiro’s approach to his life in the restaurant is that there is no ego or pride in it. His perspective on his work is that it needs to be done, it needs to be done well, and it needs to continue to evolve to perfection. It made me think back to the various paths that I could have taken but decided to stop due to practicism and my pride and ego. Maybe I could have been a good illustrator or a successful writer or a well traveled art curator. My young mindset was because my close high school friends at that time were better artists and writers, I shouldn’t even bother and just focus my energy toward academics. Of course, since then I learned it takes diligence, time, and hard work to be ‘good at something’ (there is an interesting “10,000 hours” chapter on this in The Tipping Point).
Within the span of watching this movie, it spurred me to have fun with my creative side during the trip. I practiced with my ‘way too many’ photo apps to hone my ‘eye for things’. I also took to heart to really appreciate what goes into the craft of making a cocktail or a dish; to sit at the table or bar and find that ‘ahh’ moment when I take slow bite or sip.
PS. I am betting on that once my good friend reads this, I will be messaged or texted that this post is cheesy ;-)