Written by Kat Odell
The word “kodawari” represents the artisan’s pursuit of perfection. This book, Kodawari by Washoku Rooms, follows the unique journeys of two acclaimed Japanese chefs—Mitsunori Isoda of Omakase Room by Mitsu, and Isao Yamada of Kaiseki Room by Yamada—whose careers celebrate historical Japanese cuisine. Each chef relocated from his home country to prove himself in New York, one of the world’s most rigorous and respected culinary capitals.
While their stories are unique, these chefs are united through their desire for perfectionism as demonstrated through their lauded chef’s choice menus. The pages that follow chronicle each chef’s deep-rooted kodawari, evidenced through their daily life and meticulous work ethic, from fish-cleaning to rice seasoning to omotenashi, or hospitality. Together, they share a passion for ensuring guests depart every dining experience eager to return again.