• Home
  • The Japanese Chef’s Way of Thinking by Toshio Suzuki | KORIN

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

The Japanese Chef’s Way of Thinking by Toshio Suzuki

If we don’t talk about the fundamentals that inform the way a Japanese chef thinks, then we can’t understand how we arrived at Japanese cooking today. It all starts with Japan’s location and topography. Japan is made up of about 6,300 islands, including the four main islands of Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu, and Hokkaido. Ocean currents encircle the islands, running from south to north on one side and from north to south on the other. A mountain range runs north to south along the spine of the islands. When the jet stream from the Himalayas hits the mountain range, it causes rain and snow, and with it the growth of many localized types of vegetation.

I’ve been living in the U.S. for more than 30 years. Looking from the outside, I can see that the ancient Japanese spirit and ways of thinking still exist in Japan, particularly among Japanese chefs.

The Japanese way of thinking––their outlook and indigenous religious beliefs––is called Shinto or Shintoism. It was born of the volcanoes, earthquakes, typhoons, and other natural disasters that are particular to this group of islands and topography. Shinto beliefs and ways of thinking are deeply embedded in the subconscious fabric of modern Japanese society, and include feelings of gratitude for all of the blessings that nature provides, as well as the constant fear of fires, floods, and earthquakes.

Out of this physical environment came the Japanese people’s deepest respect and honor for harmony with nature. They welcome Mother Nature’s fury and her bounty. And they believe that all people, animals, plants, and living things are one with nature.

Click here for a free PDF download of Chef Toshio Suzuki’s complete introduction: “The Japanese Chef’s Way of Thinking.”