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Sonoko Sakai is a cooking teacher and food writer based in Los Angeles, California. She is the author of "Japanese Home Cooking: Simple Meals, Authentic Flavors" and her cooking reflects her rich cultural upbringing. She was born in New York and moved to many cities throughout her youth, including San Francisco, Kamakura, Mexico City and Tokyo. Sakai has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Saveur, and many more for her dedicated work as a cook, storyteller, and food activist. Fun fact: her name, "Sonoko," means garden in Japanese. And for her, everything begins and ends in the garden. At its most fundamental level, her cooking philosophy is about respecting the ingredients and letting their natural flavors speak for themselves.