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Kenji Fujimoto (not his real name) is a Japanese sushi chef who spent years of his life living under the fierce dictatorship of North Korea working as a close friend and personal sushi chef of the country's leader Kim Jong-il.
In a piece that has been going viral since it launched this morning, the magazine GQ sent the Pulitzer winning novelist Adam Johnson to meet Fujimoto where he now lives in hiding in Japan.
It's the story of an innocent, young chef who moved to North Korea unaware of the ruler's overriding power, unsure of politics, just a young chef happy to have a job teaching young students of Pyongyang.
From there he somehow found him self as a personal confidant, friend, comedian and chef of one of the most intriguing, mysterious and down right crazy leaders in the world.
The piece is beautifully crafted and includes anecdotes that could only come from working as a chef in such an obscure environment. For example, "It was part of Fujimoto's job to fly North Korean jets around the world to procure dinner-party ingredients—to Iran for caviar, Tokyo for fish, or Denmark for beer. It was Fujimoto who flew to France to supply the Dear Leader's yearly $700,000 cognac habit. And when the Dear Leader craved McDonald's, it was Fujimoto who was dispatched to Beijing for an order of Big Macs to go." Just one of many amazing lines from within the report.
It's insightful, exciting and intriguing and we think it's one of the best culinary facing features of the year so far. You can read the full piece on what it's like to be the sushi chef of Kim Jong-il over on GQ.