Read an Excerpt
Foreword By Nobu Matsuhisa
Opening a restaurant is always a gamble. No matter how hard you work and how much planning you put into it, there's always the possibility that you will fall flat on your face. And when you try to do it in a foreign culture, then it becomes that much more risky. But there's certainly no one less afraid of taking risks than Rocky Aoki, as not only did he open one of the first Japanese restaurants in America, but he literally risked his life over and over again racing power boats and flying balloons, so it's fitting that he should have attained such a level of success.
It's because of Rocky's example that I decided to travel out of Japan to open my restaurants. His success in America gave me the confidence to follow in his footsteps, and for that I'll always be grateful to him. And while I'm not quite the risk-taker that Rocky is outside of the kitchen, I'm certainly well known for taking risks when it comes to preparing food.
One of the obstacles that both Rocky and I had to overcome is that Americans tend not to take risks when it comes to eating. Many Americans will stick to meat and potatoes day in and day out. Luckily for both us, there are enough adventuresome souls who are willing to try something different that we've been able to thrive. Now Rocky is trying to get Americans to put aside their cans of beer and soda and try a beverage that is very special. I've done my part introducing saké to the patrons of Nobu, but with this book Rocky is reaching out to a much broader audience. The one thing I can tell you is that by trying saké for yourself, you're not taking any risk whatsoever.
I love Rocky's title for this book, Water From Heaven, because that's a great description of this incredible brew. Saké blends so well with so many different cuisines that it makes it an ideal drink to accompany not only the unconventional food that I serve at Nobu, but just about any meal you can imagine. Once you've read this book and know how to choose the right saké and serve it properly, a whole new universe will open up to you. So Rocky and I both congratulate you for being willing to learn about our beloved saké and if you see either one of us at one of our restaurants, don't forget to pick up your glass of saké and salute us with a hearty kampai.