One of the best rated restaurants in the world serves no cocktails, no appetizers and only has 9 seats. It has no menu and only serves a variety of sushi as laid out by its 85 years old master chef and his team. Jiro Ono, who has been honing the craft of sushi for over 75 years, is the master chef featured in the documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which tells the story of him and his restaurant (#ProTip: it’s free on Amazon Prime Instant).
It is truly amazing and inspiring to hear his story of dedication, attention to detail and passion to work with the best; whether it be his source of rice, the fisherman he buys from or the 10 years of training for his apprentices, Jiro strives for perfection. During the documentary, a Japanese food critic revealed what he felt separates Jiro and other great chefs:
- They take their work very seriously and consistently perform at the highest level.
- They aspire to improve their skills.
- Cleanliness. If the restaurant doesn’t feel clean, the food isn’t going to taste good.
- Impatience. They are better leaders than collaborators. They’re stubborn and insist on having it their way.
When I look at the food critic’s list of qualities, I realize that those are the same qualities that can apply to any craftsman. Entrepreneurs that put a high value on design, like most notably Steve Jobs, seem to fit that list as well.
What qualities make a great craftsman?