AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL 2011
By Caitlyn Collins | October 28, 2011
Director: David Gelb
Jiro Ono is the oldest chef to have received the much coveted three Michelin stars. Director David Gelb was able to capture an intimate look at the life of Jiro in Jiro Dreams of Sushi. The life of a master chef is dictated by precise routine. Jiro is a perfectionist, and at 85 is still not ready to retire, allowing his eldest son, Yoshikazu, to take over the tiny Tokyo restaurant.
Gelb directs an enticing documentary by going into the kitchen to see what the many chefs and apprentices must do in order to prepare the day’s menu. The menu itself is dictated by the fish market, as Jiro will only serve the best of the best. While he himself no longer cycles to the market, his long-standing relationships with certain fishmongers have been passed down to Yoshikazu. This is a film about being overcome with passion for your profession because for Jiro there has never been a single day in his 75 years of working that he hasn’t loved making sushi. It is also, however, an intimate look at the father-son relationship in Japanese culture. Traditionally, the eldest son takes over the business of his father. But what if your father refuses to retire?
Gelb captures the story through interviews with not only Jiro and his sons, but also a Tokyo food critic who is still intimidated by Jiro yet loves his sushi. We finally get to see the master at his best as he feeds a group of people; Jiro does not serve appetizers, only sushi. Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a superb documentary about food, passion and family.