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Artists of different disciplines each have their own unique tools of the trade. A painter has his brushes and canvas, while a sculptor’s skills might call for a chisel and block of marble.

And a Japanese chef? All he needs to make beautiful, edible artwork is a cucumber and a kitchen knife.

When it comes to fine dining in Japan, presentation is as important as flavor, and the video below serves as a prime example. Sure, the dish being prepared is just a cucumber with a bit of condiment drizzled over it, but in the same way that the Mona Lisa is just a paper with some oil blots.

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For most of its runtime, the camera is focused on two very skilled hands and one very sharp knife. To the untrained eye, at times it’s hard to even notice when a cut is made, but sure enough, the cucumber gradually gets shorter and shorter, while the serving plate fills with intricately shaped slices of the vegetable. Some of these are the results of simple yet precise motions…

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…while others are more complex, such as when the chef transforms a thick strip into a series of alternating blossom-like wedges.

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Perhaps the most impressive thing is the speed with which the whole thing comes together. With a rapid succession of quick, confident strokes, it takes the chef just under three minutes to cover the plate with a variety of beautiful patterns.

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The seeming ease with which he displays his master-level abilities are no doubt the result of several hours of practice (as well as a few dozen nicked fingertips), but if the result is being able to make a diner’s day before they even take a bite, we’d say it was all worth it.

Source: Japaaan
Images: YouTube