Sonoko Sakai is a Japanese writer, producer and cooking teacher who call three places home: Los Angeles, Tehachapi and Tokyo. Sonoko was born in New York and raised in many places -- Kamakura, Tokyo, San Francisco, Mexico City and Los Angeles. As a freelance writer, Sakai writes about Japanese food and culture, and pens memoirs of her multicultural upbringing and travels. She is passionate about making soba noodles by hand.
Sakai is author of "The Poetical Pursuit of Food: Japanese recipes for American Cooks" (Clarkson Potter) and a food writer whose stories and recipes have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Saveur and Zester Daily. Sakai's next book is RICE CRAFT: Adventures in the Art of Onigiri, which will be published by Chronicle Books in Spring of 2016.
Sakai, is the founder of Common Grains (www.commongrains.com), a project dedicated to sharing the traditions and pleasures of growing and eating grains within a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Sakai has worked with Southern California farmers to locally grow heritage wheat with a grant from Anson Mills. Sakai also works with WSU and the Port of Skagit - a US -Japan joint-venture project to grow and mill buckwheat in the Skagit Valley in Washington State. Since 2012, Sakai has worked as an event producer/cooking teacher to promote Japanese grains for the Japanese rice growers association .
Sakai lives in Los Angeles and Tehachapi ranch with her husband, Sakai, and their dog and three cats.