About Common Grains
Common Grains is a cultural and educational project dedicated to providing people in the world with a deeper understanding and appreciation for Japanese food and culture. One of Common Grains mission is to showcase the everyday importance of grains within a healthy lifestyle. Common Grains launched in Los Angeles on January 8, 2012 is helmed by Japanese cooking teacher, food writer and soba maker, Sonoko Sakai.
Sonoko Sakai is a food writer, Japanese cooking instructor and soba maker based in Los Angeles , California. Her kitchen memoirs, recipes as well as stories on soba, sake, miso, umeboshi, and katsuobushi artisans have been published in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Saveur and Zester Daily.
Sakai is the program curator for Common Grains, an innovative cultural initiative dedicated to raising awareness of about Japanese Grains in the U.S. Sakai’s cookbook, The Poetical Pursuit of Food, Japanese Recipes for American Cooks (Potter) is about the season-to-season days spent in her grandmother’s kitchen in Kamakura, Japan. In 2010, Sakai decided to do something she has always wanted to do — learn how to make soba by hand. She studied soba-making in Tokyo. Her dream is to grow buckwheat and mill her own flour to make soba.
Sonoko lives with her husband, Katsuhisa Sakai, her dog and three cats in Highland Park and Tehachapi, California. She has a son, Sakae Sakai who turned out to be more Japanese than she is when it comes to food. Sakae and his Chinese-Canadian wife Binah love to eat natto over rice.
In addition to her passion for food, Sakai worked as a film buyer for leading Japanese film distributors for more than 15 years, and later became an independent film producer. Her most recent film was “Blindness,” was based on the book by Nobel laureate Jose Saramago and directed by Fernando Meireilles (City of God and the Constant Gardner).
For more information on Sonoko Sakai, please visit her website at www.cooktellsastory.com.