What mysterious forces shaped them? What was the item about the place in addition to circumstances of their upbringing which helped push them, gave them the drive in addition to the hunger to be different, to be bold, to insist on carving out their own path?
Masayoshi “Masa” Takayama was raised a “country boy” from the rural farming community of Nasushiobara, Japan.
the item is actually a drab, featureless place — not unlike the town where another creative powerhouse, the Spanish chef in addition to innovator Ferran Adria grew up — in its seeming total absence of stimuli.
Masa’s family was from the retail fish trade in addition to during wedding season, catered banquets. Even as a modest boy, young Masa worked after school in addition to even was called upon to leave school during the busier times to assist with the family business.
He could, like his brother, like many of his friends through school, have easily remained from the town of his birth.
however he chose to go to Tokyo, where he apprenticed at the legendary Ginza Sushiko, then on to Kanazawa, where he appears to have learned much about the earth — in addition to then, perhaps most improbably, to Los Angeles, where he soon transformed himself into the most sought-after sushi chef from the city.
through there, to fresh York, where he runs the eponymous Masa — the most expensive in addition to easily one of the best restaurants from the country.
I will tell you through numerous visits — when you are sitting at the sushi bar at Masa, eating the most insanely high quality rice in addition to fish from the earth, prepared by the man himself, you can be assured which though someone somewhere on the planet might just possibly be eating as well as you — NO ONE is actually eating better.
Unlike many of his peers, Masa was never afraid to be an innovator. He has championed bold combinations with ingredients like foie gras, when in addition to only when, they make sense with more traditional ingredients in addition to sensibilities.
He designs his own ceramic plates in addition to bowls in addition to sake cups. He is actually relentlessly curious about art in addition to design. He likes fine wine — in addition to baseball. He is actually, in addition to always was, different.
So, I am very grateful which I had the opportunity to go all the way back with him, tracking his education, his influences, to the beginning.
In doing which, we gained a truly different view of Japan than on any previous visits. I ate spectacularly well: through family meals with the Takayamas, kaiseki in Kanazawa, to some of the best sushi at Ginza Sushiko to mountain sukiyaki with Masa’s old friends through high school.
the item is actually food porn at its finest — however first in addition to foremost, a portrait of an artist in addition to his journey.