Melanie Cook: Power-House Talent Lawyer

Melanie Cook is without a doubt one of my most inspiring role models in the entertainment industry.  During a time when it was rare to find women practicing entertainment law,  Cook made her mark as the first female partner at Hollywood law firm, Ziffren-Brittenham.  (FYI, Ziffren-Brittenham is incredibly exclusive, so much so that they do not have a website). 

Cook is what I one day hope to be: a power-house talent lawyer with an A-list client list (Tim Burton, Keanu Reeves to name a few).  In an industry, however, where men are keepers of executive positions, it makes me wonder what would it take for more women to rise to senior-level positions.  More on that later.

Check out The Hollywood Reporter for the complete article about Cook (I know I’ve read it at least 10 times).

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

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Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a 2011 Japanese documentary film directed by David Gelb.  The story follows Jiro Ono, an 85 year old master sushi chief on a quest to perfect the art of sushi making (you’d think he’d be satisfied after over 75 years in the business).  From his humble appearance, you wouldn’t guess that Jiro was a Micheline Guide 3-star chief.  However, Jiro’s story is surprisingly poignant.  He is in fact a rare breed of man who, by age 9, had been forced to live on his own in rural Japan.  Today, Jiro’s humble restaurant, a 10 seat hole in the wall, is one of Japan’s most haled culinary experiences and prices at around $300 per meal.

And yet, for Jiro, it’s not about the money.  As he and his apprentices prepare the evening meal, it was clear that the attention to taste and the manner of serving was absolute.  Perhaps it is the Japanese Kaizen way, the indescribable discipline, that fuels Jiro’s craftsmanship or perhaps it is simply the need for Jiro to prove to himself that he has achieved perfection.  We don’t know.  The documentary is simple in that it does not attempt to characterize Jiro as a Miyagi-like sage, an absentee father, or even a celebrity.  It sets out only to detail the amount of thought and preparation that Jiro puts in to creating each piece of sushi.

As a Vancouverite who has eaten many-a-sushi in my day, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a surprisingly engaging film experience, one that has without a doubt left me questioning how I could have ever eaten sushi that was presented to me via the standard conveyer belt.

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