Gerry Shikatani’s resolute passion for the diverse elements of the human endeavour has inspired an oeuvre of fiction, text-sound performance, experimental film, culinary criticism/writing and above all, poetry. His books include AQUEDUCT: poems and texts from Europe, a 412 page opus co-published in an unprecedented effort of three publishers.
As an artist of Japanese racial background he has influenced and been mentor to emerging writers from visible minorities in Canada. Paper Doors, an anthology of Japanese-Canadian poetry, co-edited with David Aylward, pioneered in bringing Asian-Canadian literature before scholars and the public.
Grounded with a particular aesthetics of silence, his work has evolved through his passages into Europe and recently Japan, as he experiences the world speaking French and Spanish in addition to the English and Japanese of his upbringing.
His current major literary work niwa, set in gardens in Japan, is the second part of his two-volume garden poems mortar rake glove sausan broom basin sansui begun in 1996. Volume 1, First Book, Three Gardens of Andalucía appeared in 2003 and also integrated into ever present going past (2007), a short film collaboration with the internationally-acclaimed experimental filmmaker, Phillip Hoffman of Ontario.
One of Canada's respected and most experienced culinary critics, his work has appeared in publications including Toronto Life, Saveur, Holland Herald, and The Globe and Mail. While covering the restaurant scenes of Montreal and Paris for enRoute in the 90's, his review of Alain Passard at Arpege, was the first continent-wide review in North America of one of Paris' three most emblematic 3-star Michelin chefs of this quarter century. As critic at The Toronto Star, his major coverage of the world's most famous and influential chef Ferran Adria in 2000 pioneered by years, Canadian attention to not only the chef, but Spain's contemporary cuisine.
Shikatani has continued to visit Spain's leading traditional and contemporary chefs in nearly three decades of research of French, Spanish and now Japanese cuisine.
In 2009. he was decorated with the Cross of the Order of Civilian Merit, granted by King Carlos I of Spain, for his years of writing devoted to Spanish gastronomy and culture.
Born and raised in Toronto, Gerry Shikatani has lived in Montréal and Paris, France and is currently based in Ontario where he devotes increasing time to mentoring and coaching writers.