Sonoko Sakai

Author, educator, producer

Sonoko Sakai is a food writer, author, cooking teacher and producer based in Los Angeles and Tehachapi, California. She was born in New York, and raised in Tokyo, Kamakura, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Mexico City.

Sonoko has taught at cooking schools, community centers, universities and other institutions around the country, including King Arthur Flour Baking School (Vermont and Washington), San Francisco Cooking School and Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savory, PCC and the Pantry in Seattle, the Bread Lab (Washington State University), Shed (Healdsburg, California), USC, UCLA, Japanese American National Museum, Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, etc. She worked as producer and creative director with several Japanese government organizations (METI, MAFF) to promote Japanese food and culture.

Her stories and recipes have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Lucky Peach, Saveur, Zester Daily and Bungei Shunju (a Japanese literary magazine), and she has appeared on both local and national television programs and public radio stations.

With a seed grant from Anson Mills, she is working with farmers, chefs and bakers in Southern California to grow ancient grains, using sustainable agricultural practices.

Her first cookbook, The Poetical Pursuit of Food: Japanese Recipes for American Cooks was published by Potter in 1986. Her second cookbook, Rice Craft was published by Chronicle Books on July 2016. It was Amazon’s Best Book of the Month in July of 2016. She is currently working on her third cookbook, Japanese Home Cooking, to be published by Roost Books in Fall 2019.