World's foremost experts on chess design and the world's most prominent collectors

 
 

Paris, France

Dylan Loeb McClain

Editor, WorldChess.com

Dylan Loeb McClain is a journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He was a staff editor for The New York Times for 18 years and wrote the paper’s chess column from 2006 to 2014. He is now editor-in-chief of WorldChess.com. He is a FIDE master as well. 

 
 

USA

Jon Crumiller

Chess Historial and Collector

After saving his wages from the Nagano apprenticeship, Chef Sakamoto took out a loan and opened Chotto Kai, his first restaurant in Tokyo. Using simple, seasonal ingredients, he was able to bring the luxury of kaiseki to all. Because he incorporated some of the Hong Kong flavors his mother had inspired in him, Chotto Kai was both a huge success and a unique contribution to Tokyo’s culinary landscape.


During his eighth year at Chotto Kai, he befriended ramen shop owner Rei Fukui. Chef Sakamoto had stopped by her front stall for a quick dinner and fell instantly in love with her take on the springy yet soft noodle. Every ingredient was meticulously prepared, just like each kaiseki course.

 
 

USA

Dr. George Dean

Chess Collector

Chef Sakamoto implored chef Fukui to share her methods. She said that she would only teach him the basics if he promised to bring the art of ramen abroad. He brought the proposition to his family, and his mother immediately urged him to go to Hong Kong.


The next week, Chef Sakamoto flew to the “Pearl City” and discovered that he felt more at home than ever. He knew that he could meld the umami flavors and smoky scents of Cantonese cuisine with the richness and nuances of ramen. He went back to Tokyo to learn from Chef Fukui, and with her blessing, returned to Hong Kong seven years later.