Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

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Acclaimed celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa earned his reputation with a fusion cuisine he developed called Nobu Style, "Japanese cuisine that belongs anywhere in the world." In this memoir, he distills the personal influences and philosophy that inspired this benevolent yet uncompromising sushi master to reach the greatest heights of haute cuisine.

Left fatherless at seven and having been expelled from high school for driving without a license, Nobu started working at his family's lumber business until a sushi bar owner in Shinjuku, Tokyo, took on the 17-year-old as an apprentice. There, Nobu worked his way up to sushi chef from dishwasher and delivery boy. Six years later, he headed off to Peru to run a friend's sushi restaurant and then to Alaska to open his first restaurant with his wife. After tragedy all but destroyed his dream of restaurant ownership, he found redemption at a 38-seat Beverly Hills sushi bar that he named Matsuhisa. There he honed his personal philosophies on food and service, drawing the attention of Robert De Niro, who partnered with Nobu to open an international conglomerate of restaurants and hotels espousing the same style that made Nobu a star.

This memoir reads not so much as a personal tell-all as it does an inspirational how-to on hospitality. He eagerly imparts the pearls of wisdom he has acquired over the years to encourage innovation, so long as that innovation remains firmly rooted in Japanese cuisine. Nobu's strict adherence to empathic service created a management style that appears simple on the surface, but has proven revelatory and inspiring in its single-minded focus. Many fans of Matsuhisa will no doubt recognize, "No matter where you go, food and heaven will follow." --Nancy Powell, freelance writer and technical consultant