In the early 1990s, the origins of our food and the methods used in raising or capturing animals remained largely unknown and unexplored by many. However, with the rise of the internet, information about food sources became more accessible, leading to a more informed consumer base.
Personally, during that period, I operated a business involving transporting "free-range" chickens from the suburban area of Lancaster to my small processing plant near downtown Los Angeles. This venture allowed me to establish connections with numerous sous chefs from the finest restaurants in the city, many of whom happened to be of Japanese descent. It was through these relationships that the concept of "Jidori Chicken®" was born, drawing inspiration from the Japanese term that roughly translates to "Chicken of the Earth." This initiative transformed my struggling poultry butcher shop on the corner into the primary supplier of the freshest poultry for the most esteemed chefs in Los Angeles.
My good fortune expanded further when I had the incredible opportunity to meet two exceptionally talented chefs, Wolfgang Puck and Nobu Matsuhisa. Although they were already well-known in Los Angeles during the early 90s, their international acclaim had yet to be fully realized. I credit a significant portion of my success to their achievements. Whenever their former sous chefs ventured into opening their own restaurants, I would receive calls requesting Jidori Chicken®, a testament to the gratitude shared within this culinary community.
- Dennis Mao, Proprietor