When searching for the best sushi in Japan, both locals and tourists will flock to the famous Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant in Tokyo. A master chef who's beloved by celebrities and presidents alike, and star of the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Jiro Ono has, thanks to his fresh fish courses, become a Japanese icon. His delicate craftsmanship of each unique serving is the key to the hearts and taste buds of multitudes. But is he still making sushi? The answer is yes - at least for now.
Jiro has stated he will keep working at his restaurant at least until the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Even at this late stage of his life, he keeps many secrets; what will happen to his underground sushi shop when (and if) he hangs up his knives for good remains uncertain. No doubt his son and chief apprentice, Yoshikazu Ono, will have a major role to play.
Anthony Bourdain Declared That He'd Want His Final Meal To Be At Jiro's
Jiro's sushi is so meticulously crafted that even the most famous chefs in the world admire it. Before his passing, Anthony Bourdain held the legendary chef in the highest regard.
Bourdain boasted that he would have wanted his final meal to be created and served personally by Jiro at his underground Tokyo kitchen. During this final dining experience, Bourdain would enjoy crawling away into Jiro's tucked-away establishment and, after exchanging a few pleasantries with the great chef, relish in everything Jiro has to offer - including over 20 servings of his one-of-a-kind sushi, his most expensive sake, and his delicate egg tamago.
Jiro Spoke Out About The Threat Of OverfishingPhoto: Jiro Dreams of Sushi / Magnolia Pictures
Of course, a master sushi chef would be nothing without their main protein - fish. With overfishing threatening the oceans of Japan, Jiro certainly noticed the change in quality and sources of his food supply.
A perfectionist, Jiro takes care in every step of the sushi-making process, including the first - knowing exactly where his supply is coming from. Being in the business long enough to notice a disturbing trend in the supply chain, he warned that the ingredients used to make sushi would change over time due to overfishing and an increasing dependence on farm-grown fish.
Barack Obama And Shinzo Abe Had A Business Lunch Prepared By Jiro
When former President Barack Obama met with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, they greeted each other in Tokyo, then enjoyed a meal together at Sukiyabashi Jiro.
Having been born in Hawaii, the former president is no stranger to sushi. While Obama ate, he gushed to Jiro that the meal was "the best sushi I've ever had in my life."
Jiro Didn't Think He Was A Master Until He'd Been Practicing For 50 YearsPhoto: Jiro Dreams of Sushi / Magnolia Pictures
Although Jiro believed that after 50 years, he had finally become a master sushi chef, he admits that he has never lost inspiration. He believes in the driven spirit of a creator - someone filled with a passion to keep improving at their art.
Even after 60 or 70 years of practicing, he feels it's human nature to carry this sense of continuous progression, and insists he will keep striving to meet greater goals.