Well, it's been two years. And what a 2nd year it has been. Although I'm still in the same place I was a year ago, a lot has changed. I'd say the past year was a very emotional and telling one. I was challenged both physically and mentally with only my determination and my faith in ramen leading the way. From my mom falling ill (she's better now, thanks!) to the earthquake and subsequent radiation fears (which believe it or not affects everyone in the world no matter how far away you are), this past year in Japan really tested my dedication to my dream.
|Yasai Ramen from Kusamura|
And since you've all been so patient with my ramen related ramblings, let me share with you a few details of what really went on in my ramen life this past year. After the earthquake, I was given a huge opportunity to work for one of the most respected ramen shops in the world. And although I cherished this opportunity to the fullest (a BIG thanks to everyone involved), it was soon evident that this wasn't the right road for me to take. There were many reasons that led to my departure (which I won't divulge here), but, for one, nothing could compare to the love I had for Bassanova.
|Nokou Tsukemen tare from Noodle World 2011|
After I left Bassanova, it seemed like my favorite ramen shop in the world was on the brink of collapse. With Shuga preparing to leave, without a clear-cut heir apparent to take over the reigns as manager, and a boss who lives hundreds of miles away who sometimes treats Bassanova as just an annoying itch, I knew I had to step in somehow.
If you recall, before I went back home in July, I visited Northern Kyushu and hung out with Big Boss, himself, for a couple days. This trip was more than just a vacation. There was a much bigger purpose, one that I neglected to mention at all. I went down there to negotiate with Big Boss. Yes, I had full intention of buying Bassanova from him.
|Tonkotsu Tsukemen made with the Nokou tare|
A lot, as well as nothing, has happened since then. Although those talks went well and Big Boss even encouraged me to become the new owner, there were plenty of hurdles (mainly funding) that couldn't be leaped immediately. (And you'll just have to trust me on that.) So for now, I am not the owner but I find myself in full control as manager of my favorite ramen shop in the world. At this time there is no immediate risk. Whether I decide to buy Bassanova or not, my current position is a priceless opportunity that I will try to use to my advantage. This is a new challenge that has invigorated my passion even more. (I'm f***ing managing a ramen shop in Tokyo!!) I still don't know where this will all lead, but I definitely know it's leading in the right direction. As always, thank you so much for your support. It's full speed ahead from now on. Just one more year...