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Sonoko Sakai is a Los Angeles-based cook, teacher and writer. While she has called  many places home throughout her life — including New York, San Francisco, Kamakura, Mexico City, and Tokyo —  she has always felt rooted in her Japanese heritage. We have been inspired by Sonoko; by her approach to seasonality in food, cooking, and the delicious products she makes, and we feel lucky to have collaborated with her on some recipes at our cafe in Echo Park.

We visited Sonoko at her home recently. After making coffee, we took a tour of her garden and made waffles. She sent us off with some of her delicious homemade kimchi. 

Photos by Justin Chung

Could you tell us your story in your words?

What was your experience working in or moving between different fields?

What you do feels modern but timeless. What are your views on trends, and on what makes something great?

You’ve done so much to share and promote Japanese food and culture in the US. How have you seen knowledge, awareness — even reception — of that shift over time? 

The best thing I picked up at the farmer's market this week:

A recipe that never disappoints:

What is your morning ritual?