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Chef's Choice - Suvir Saran

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

Welcome to 2019! 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


I was always doing things for others in the kitchen, even though I didn't think I would ever be a chef.

I grew up in India as a Hindu vegetarian, where the family center was the kitchen. There was no alcohol, no meat, no fish, none of that. When I was four or five years old, I was always in the kitchen while my brother, sister, family, and friends were socializing.

When we went to a family friend’s home, I would run into the kitchen and ask, “Can I make salad? Can I wash this?” I didn’t relate to the other boys. I knew I was different, but the mothers and grandmothers never judged me. They were delighted that this little kid wanted to peel a potato or a cucumber, but they wouldn’t let me use a knife, so I washed potatoes and brought food from the kitchen to the table. I was always doing things for others in the kitchen, even though I didn’t think I would ever be a chef. I had no role model. The only place where I didn’t feel as if people were judging me was in the kitchen.

I wanted to be a painter, so I enrolled in the School of Visual Arts in New York City to study design. In India I had done knitting, sculpture, pottery, but everything at the school in New York was on the computer. I wanted to use my hands, but they had become obsolete. I was unhappy in school and hated my day life. I wanted to become a normal human being, so every night I cooked for 20, 40, even 100 people, many of whom were strangers. Friends would bring six or eight people to dinner, and I was this young Indian cook who made the best Indian food in New York. Instead of going to school, I was home prepping all day. Then in the evening, I hosted parties where I lived, at 90th Street and Columbus Avenue.

One evening after dinner, a guest suggested that I teach a cooking class.

Another guest, Elisabeth Bumiller, a reporter for the Style section of The Washington Post, said, “Sweetie, you can’t do it for free. You have to charge.” So that was the first time I charged. I was about 23 years old.

(Click here for a free PDF download of SUVIR SARAN’s complete mini memoir.)