Japan

Ivan Orkin

My friend Edward told me about an episode of Chef’s Table on Netflix about Ivan Orkin, a ramen cook with a fascinating life story. The food aspect of the documentary is great but his story is even better. Nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn becomes most famous ramen chef in Tokyo, Japan by putting a little schmaltz (Yiddish: chicken fat) in his traditional Japanese cookery. Brilliant.

If you stream Netflix give it a go:

Chef’s Table, Season 3, Episode 4: Ivan Orkin

Anne and I plan to eat in one of Ivan’s two restaurants the next time we’re in New York.

Ivan Ramen

He’s also got a book out that includes his story and the complete recipe for his shio ramen dish, including his ramen noodles with rye flour.

Ivan Ramen on iBooks

Ivan Ramen on Amazon

Of course, pictures of Ivan and his food are all over Flickr.

Makomanai Cemetery Buddha

The Makomanai Cemetery is on the outskirts of Sapporo, Japan. This 1500 ton stone Buddha sat alone, above ground for fifteen years. The cemetery hired architect Tadao Ando to change the relationship of the Buddha to the cemetery. He did this by building a hill of lavender plants around the statue and the results are spectacular.

Watch the video full screen. It has no sound that I know of but it’s perfect in silence.

Update: My friend Joy Brown found this video of the building of the hill around the Buddha.

[via Colossal]