My respect for Asian chefs — Japanese in particular — has always surpassed my feelings for many of their European and American counterparts. Not because they work harder or are better cooks (which may or may not be true), but because they readily make sacrifices we round eyes are unwilling to suffer.
Everyone from Wolfgang Puck to your average line cook loves to give lip service to opening a “small, personal restaurant where I can cook my food for friends and others who appreciate it,” but that’s a bunch of hooey (dished to credulous critics and such) and they know it. Truth be told, once you’ve got a taste for casino money — whether as an employee or owner — the idea of risking it all for the uncertainty of running your own, barely profitable business is a gamble very few want to take.
Except for Asian chefs — Japanese in particular.