Hi friends. Been a while!
I wanted to stop by to recommend Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan’s Food Culture. Here’s what I wrote to my brothers:
Just started reading Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan’s Food Culture, a new book written by Matt Goulding and published by Anthony Bourdain. I wanted to recommend it. Japan’s food culture, and the spirit of the Shokunin, is such a difficult thing to capture in words, and I’ve never seen it done better. The book is a phenomenal piece of writing– quick to read, but rich enough to draw you into hours of thinking.
I’m often asked why I keep returning to Japan, to the exclusion of other countries, and it’s always difficult to explain to those who haven’t experienced it for themselves. Many seem to think that I return to Japan again and again to relive the same experience over and over, as a child might hop back on the same roller coaster all day. The reality is the opposite: Japan is so distinct from anywhere else that each visit leads to a paradigm shift. Compared to Japan, Thailand or Vietnam would feel like just another variation of Hong Kong. Of course, it would be fun to visit Southeast Asia, get a Thai massage, lay out on the beach in Bali, etc…. but I know that these will not be places in which I find a home for my own spirit.
Back to the book: I’m 45 pages in, and already there are pages and pages– not merely a blurb like most publications– devoted to Sushi Sawada, Cafe de l’Ambre (a fantastic old coffee shop I visited in April), and Gen Yamamoto, whose cocktails are the only ones which, at this point, I feel are unfathomably beyond my own ability.
It took me 30 seconds to download on my iPad. Please do the same, and join me in going ever deeper into Japan’s food.”