Shokunin, Eater's video series that explores the lives of food world artisans, is back for a second season. Hosted by New York City-based sushi chef David Bouhadana, season two takes viewers from coast to coast to meet conservation-minded oyster farmers and sound designers responsible for the creating the perfect mood in some of the nation's top restaurants, hyper-focused food artisans and chefs who are preserving lost arts. In today's episode, Bouhadana meets a Los Angeles-based chef dedicated to a dying skill: Koki Sato is a master tofu maker.
Sato has been making artisanal tofu for 16 years, since he and his father took over a tofu production facility in Gardena in 2000. Called Meiji Tofu, the business has been operational since 1979, and many of its machines still in use today date back to that time. Sato learned tofu-making from his father — who learned it while working in the kitchen at his parents' restaurant — as well as during an apprenticeship with a tofu-maker in Tokyo. Watch the video above for a look into the process of making tofu by hand, from soaking soybeans to flash cooling and finally tasting.