WHAT DOES SUSHI HAVE IN COMMON WITH HERMÈS-PERFECTION TO A-MUSE ALL SENSES
A vanishing word of the twenty first century is “perfection”. It all starts in school. Pressured to push students through the grades as fast as possible, teachers are encouraged to be lenient with their students´ work. The outcome is a population of workers who know little or nothing about being proud of a job done with perfection.
Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised by two professionals who present nothing short of perfection.
I had signed up for a presentation on Hermès- at Casa do Saber Cidade Jardim.
I left Morumbi early to avoid traffic and ended up arriving too early so I decided to get something to eat before the conference. I’m crazy for Japanese food and the area around rua Mario Ferraz has a number of such restaurants. I used to think the three best Japanese restaurants in town were Shin Zushi, Miyabe and Jun Sakamoto. Now I know there are four. Next to the corner of Cidade Jardim and Mario Ferraz is Emporio Santa Maria- a luxury market with one of the best wine cellars and gourmet foods in the city. I remembered they had a Japanese sushi bar upstairs and decided to soothe my taste buds. WOW! Finger-licking good would be less than adequate to describe my experience. I’m still lingering in the taste of their sushi. If you say R$ 10,00 for a sushi unit is expensive I’ll tell you I’ll be glad to live off cup-o-soup for a week and save for Cris Mori’s sushi! Sushi chef Cristiano Mori and his assistants, Fabio and Renato are attentive to your preferences and the big kick is to watch the other employees meticulously preparing the fish for the chef’s work. I highly recommend buri, maguro, The maguro was so good I went back for seconds!
Empório Santa Maria. Av. Cidade Jardim, 790 – Itaim – São Paulo – SP Tel: (11) 3816-4344. www.emporiosantamaria.com.br
Next surprise: the Hermès presentation. First of all, a beautiful documentary film “Hearts and Crafts”, showing the craftsmen at work and their words, their passion for excellence, for being a craftsperson, for working at a place that fosters excellence and values the works of skilled hands. The film documents each one of the Hermès workshops: leather, crystal, metal, silk. The artisans in each one of the workshops speak about their passion, their experience and how much they love to work at Hermès. The photography is superb. From the film I learned that it takes two days for a person to sew a handbag. I saw how the stitching is done, stitch by stitch, how everything is done by hand- no automated process. I finally understood why their articles cost so much more than other first class products. It’s not only done by hand, it is meticulously, perfectly, lovingly, done by hand idomh the best raw materials. At the end of the film, Pascale Mussard, an elegant sixth generation Hermès heiress answered our questions; she told us that the secret of Hermès is the pride of each employee in his/her work and the love put into the work. She confided- that when a handbag is ready to be sent to the stores they caress the handbag and when it is absolutely gorgeous the handbag responds. She told us Hermès plans to open at least one more store in São Paulo, another one in Rio, also in Belo Horizonte and Brasilia.
No less perfect than their product is also the website (www.hermes.com) which I visited for hours after I came back from the conference. Despite the unusual prices, it’s hard to leave the store, especially if you can afford them. If you can’t, it’s still worth spending a few hours- a real learning experience that will make you appreciate good design and craftsmanship. Thank you all, Hermès team and Casa do Saber for the wonderful evening. It’s a great feeling to know there are still people who are proud of what they do and who cultivate perfection.