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by Françoise Desbois

Kazuo was born in 1968 in Sado. After studying and working in Tokyo, he decided to return to his native island. He rediscovered Sado, exploring its mountains and treasures. Every day in his restaurant, according to the seasons, he invents a precise and inspired local cuisine. Kazuo invites us to spend a week in his kitchen.

While I was shooting my last movie about Jean-Marc Brignot, a French winemaker who moved to Sadogashima to start over, I met Kazuo. Kazuo was born on Sado and decided, after 25 years in Tokyo, to come back to help revitalize his island. With his wife Yoshiko, he’s running a soba restaurant in the middle of the island. I filmed him making soba and included it in my previous movie. I really enjoyed spending time with Kazuo and was fascinated by his craft and told myself that one day I would really like to come back to Sado to make a feature movie just about him and his restaurant. Last fall, as I was going to screen my movie in Gashima cinema, the unique cinema of the island, I also spent a week in Kazuo’s kitchen and made a movie about him. I knew already that he was more than a soba master but I discovered a passionate chef, a professional mushrooms hunter, a great specialist of wild mountain’s plants and above all a fermentation and preserved food expert.