Sonoko Sakai is a cooking teacher, food writer, author 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 published two cookbooks, The Poetical Pursuit of Food: Japanese Recipes for American Cook (Potter) and Rice Craft (Chronicle Books). Rice Craft was Amazon's Best Book of the Month in July of 2016. Sonoko's third cookbook titled: Japanese Home Cooking: Authentic Recipes for the Everyday Cook will be published by Roost Books in the Fall of 2019.
For more than 20 years, Sonoko worked in the film industry as a film buyer and producer traveling around the world while freelancing as a food writer. In 2009, Sonoko decided it was time to leave the film industry. Sonoko went back to Japan to study noodle making as a way to restore her energy. She fell in love with soba (buckwheat) and the rest is history.
Sonoko has taught at cooking schools, community centers, farmers markets, universities and other institutions around the country, including the Bread Lab at WSU, King Arthur Flour Baking School, and Anson Mills and more. Sonoko has also worked as producer and director for Cool Japan and other events to promote Japanese food and culture here in the United States and abroad.
Sonoko's stories and/or recipes have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Chicago tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Lucky Peach, Saveur, Los Angeles Magazine. Sonoko has appeared on both local and national television programs and public radio stations - npr the world, kcrw good food, sounds la, etc. You can see her in kcet's Emmy Award winning The Migrant Kitchen - Omotenashi episode https://www.kcet.org/shows/the-migrant-kitchen/episodes/omotenashi
In 2011, Sonoko received a seed grant from Anson Mills to start a community grain project in Southern California with a mission to diversify the way we grow food, deepen our appreciation for food and culture, with grains and plants at the heart with the ultimate goal to restore the health of our planet.