Friday, December 17, 2010
Guess Who Took Me to Lunch?
No it wasn't John Malkovich.
Or Willem Dafoe.
Or even Sting.
(Now you know who my heart beats for)
It was Tatsuyoshi Takashima.
And who is Tatsuyoshi Takashima?
He's the President of Dentsu -- THE president of the entire worldwide global Dentsu, where I am just a small cog in a huge wheel.
Now I don't know about you, if you regularly have lunches or dinners or even Starbucks coffee with your global worldwide CEO so maybe this is all ho-hum, been-there-done-that to you.
But this was a pretty big deal to me -- to be singled out for this one special honor.
This happy event took place in Tokyo, last month when I was there for my annual budget meeting.
I had met Mr. Takashima, actually did a presentation to him when he visited our regional office in Singapore last July. All of of us Asian country heads were there and during the official dinner, I got my 15 minutes of face time with him and we got to talking about Japanese food.
He seemed like a genuinely warm and engaged person and wanted to know what I liked about Japanese food.
So I said my all time favorite was tonkatsu or fried pork cutlet (think weiner schnitzel on steroids). He said that was his favorite too and promised that he would take me to this place that served the best tonkatsu in Tokyo.
After he moved on to talk to other people, I thought this was just part of the usual small talk so I was surprised to receive an e-mail from his executive assistant a few weeks later inviting me to a tonkatsu lunch in Tokyo, with a specific date and time.
To cut to the chase, I showed up at the appointed time, we walked to his favorite tonkatsu restaurant, 15 minutes away from the office.
And we had lunch together. It was an hour of personal time, with no talk about the office or work, but just good conversation about food, family, ideas -- it was lunch between two kindred human beings who just happened to both enjoy tonkatsu.
And yes, it was the best, the most delicious tonkatsu that I had ever had.