Frame: Jiro Dreams of Sushi
The documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi is not about sushi, dreams, or Jiro. It’s about working hard at what you love, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else. For anyone that’s ever fallen in love with food, this concept is not foreign.
It’s rare to meet someone in food who has full use of all ten fingers, and I defy you to find anyone that hasn’t had significant burns or stitches at some point. One of my colleagues tells a story about how (years ago, before we worked at the same company) she cut herself on the kitchen line one night. Her chef asked her to put on a few rubber gloves and keep working, but he knew it was a bad cut. To keep her going, he started feeding her vodka. When she went to the emergency room at 5am the next morning, she was checked in for blood poisoning. “Eh,” she says, “it was a fun night.”
Food retailing, my line of work, is slightly less dangerous but far less understood. Cooking is creative, social, and delicious. Retailing, from the outside (and sometimes the inside), looks like a drag. But food retailers are actually business nerds. We analyze placement, price, seasonality, and consumer habits to death, because we enjoy it. And, we also get to eat a lot of great food. Doesn’t all of that sound fascinating? No? Yeah, I knew you wouldn’t understand.
There is a point in Jiro Dreams of Sushi, among shots of amazing raw fish and apprentices sore from massaging octopus, when Jiro says: “I am ecstatic every day.”
Who could ask for more?