By Autumn Widdoes
Shiro: Wit, Wisdom and Recipes from a Sushi Pioneer is the remarkable memoir of sushi chef and legend Shiro Kashiba. The book opens at the peak of the author’s childhood in post-World War II Japan as Kashiba recalls his initial fascination with American culture. The memoir follows Kashiba as he makes his way to North America bearing his culinary traditions and a career dedicated to the Japanese art of sushi.
Kashiba began his career in Japan as a young sushi chef on the Ginza working under chef Jiro Ono (pronounced a National Living Treasure by the Japanese Government). Kashiba left Japan to pursue the American dream of owning a restaurant. At the time he was one of a handful of individuals to bring sushi to America and contributed greatly to the shift in the American palette. Kashiba discusses the consumer demographic which only a generation ago avoided raw fish, and now worries about the direction in which American fusion sushi has gone. Continue reading