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Imagine having the same job for 60 years and still dreaming almost nightly about how you can improve. Jiro Ono, 85 and considered to be the world’s greatest sushi chef, does just that, still striving for perfection even after being honored with three Michelin stars. And everything about this honor is improbable — his restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, is in the Ginza subway station in Tokyo; he serves only sushi; and his restaurant has a mere 10 seats. Still, people travel from around the world, fighting for reservations one month in advance and paying the minimum of 30,000 yen (about $390) for 20 pieces of sushi.
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“While I’m making sushi, I feel victorious,” Ono says in this month’s documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. The film also introduces Ono’s driven sons, Yoshikazu and Takashi, both of whom apprenticed with their father. Food critic Masuhiro Yamamoto says, “When Jiro retires or the inevitable happens, this level of sushi will never exist.” With Yoshikazu set to take the helm, don’t bet on it. Jiro Dreams of Sushi opens March 9 in New York and March 16 in Los Angeles, with a subsequent national rollout; www.sushi-jiro.jp