Monday, January 28, 2008

The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson

In terms of recorded history, the emergence of sushi as a culinary delight in the United States is still a relatively recent phenomenon. Sushi’s surging popularity has propelled it from hot spot metropolitan sake bars into local grocery store cooling bins. The story of sushi, however, reaches back much further than the freshest milk.

In The Zen of Fish, Trevor Corson carefully wraps morsels of history and humor into bite sized chapters that taken together tell “the story of sushi, from samurai to supermarket.” From the procurement of the freshest ingredients in the early morning fish markets to the fostering and attentive care given by each chef to their personal set of knives, Corson prepares a delicious and enlightening tome. The author’s mastery of description spices the mind with the dancelike movements of sushi chefs as they prepare meals for the enthusiastic sake toasting guests lining the Hama Hermosa bar in Hermosa Beach, California. During the morning hours, the back room of the restaurant plays host to the California Sushi Academy, where we follow the trials of aspiring sushi chefs through a semester of training at the hands of their demanding instructor, Zoran. Most prominent among these characters is Kate, whose spunk and wit will have you rooting for her as an underdog amongst a handful of finely captured characters, each with their own substory.

A wonderful read that will unearth the foodie in you, The Zen of Fish entertains and educates. -- KY

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