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Chef's Choice is a Unique and Inspiring Book that is a Perfect Gift for

Aspiring Culinary Students, Home Cooks, and Professional Chefs

"Chef's Choice is a beautiful book." - Marcus Samuelsson

Message from Saori Kawano, Founder and President of Korin Japanese Trading Corp

After publishing Chef’s Choice: 22 Culinary Masters Tell How Japanese Food Culture Influenced Their Careers and Cuisine in 2015, it continues to inspire and educate new and experienced chefs, culinary students, and those who love Japanese food and culture.

In this savory collection of mini memoirs, 22 culinary masters tell who and what motivated them to become chefs. They described early career influences, training, favorite Japanese ingredients, tools, and the pivotal role Japanese food culture has played in their cuisine and professional development.

Participating chefs include Nobu Matsuhisa, David Bouley, Eric Ripert, Marcus Samuelsson, Michael Romano, Lee Anne Wong, Michael Anthony, Wylie Dufresne, Toshio Suzuki, Ben Pollinger, Toni Robertson, Eddy Leroux, Nils Norén, Yosuke Suga, Shinichiro Takagi, Suvir Saran, David Myers, Noriyuki Sugie, Elizabeth Andoh, Barry Wine, James Wierzelewski, and Ben Flatt.

Our goal in writing the book was to inspire, educate, and movitate student chefs, working chefs, home chefs, and everyone who admires Japanese food and culture. We wanted to go deep and learn from top chefs what it takes to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive restaurant world and the role that Japanese food culture played in their cooking and careers. We believe that the stories in Chef’s Choice can be a valuable resource for anyone pursuing a career in the restaurant business and those fascinated by Japanese food culture and cuisine.

We hope you enjoy it!

Chef's Choice Regular price $19.95 | Koirn Price: $15 Click Here

Influences - Chef Lee Ann Wong

Working at Aquavit was when I first started taking a serious interest in Japanese food and ingredients.

When I was 12 years old, my family visited the Philippines for my cousin’s wedding. My uncle Tony took my brother and me to a sushi restaurant somewhere in Quezon City. It was my first time eating sushi, and my uncle dared me to eat the entire ball of wasabi. He put me up to a $100 bet, and of course, being a kid, I wanted to impress my older brother. So I popped the whole thing in my mouth and swallowed it with water. I didn’t chew it. My uncle ended up forking over $100. I had a very bad stomach ache the next few days. And that was my first introduction to sushi, but also the last for a while, because there wasn’t much sushi in upstate New York.

I started cooking when I was 20 or so. I was taking classes three nights a week at The French Culinary Institute in New York City and bartending to pay the rent. The first month at FCI felt right, so I contacted career services and asked for a list of local restaurants to contact. Aquavit, a Scandinavian restaurant, was listed under “A,” so I called and asked if the restaurant was looking for interns or part-timers. I knew that Aquavit was a famous restaurant and had seen its owner, Marcus Samuelsson, on TV. What amazed me was that after I called, Marcus personally called me back! That surprised me! When I talked to Marcus on the phone, I said I wanted real restaurant experience––fine dining experience. He invited me to come in.

(Click here for a free PDF download of Lee Ann Wong's complete mini memoir.)