TOKYO, Sept. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
- Michelin-starred Chef David Bouley Demonstrates Original Dishes Created with Japanese Ingredients: Health-themed Presentation on Diversity of Japanese Food Products -
"TASTE OF JAPAN in New York: Savor the Culture of Earth & Sea" held in the U.S. city last week was an educational event that took up the themes of Japanese ingredients and personal health to promote awareness about the appeals of Japan's food and food culture.
Held at New York's famed Carnegie Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21, the event was opened by Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi of the Consulate General of Japan in New York. The ambassador was followed by Hiromichi Matsushima, Vice-Minister for International Affairs at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan.
The charms of Japanese cuisine and the country's carefully passed-down food culture, together with Japanese products that owe their diversity to the country's seasonality and differing regions, were introduced by Professor Ryoji Hamamoto, team leader of the Japanese Cuisine R&D Department at the Tsuji Culinary Institute, based in Osaka, Japan. Professor Hamamoto outlined the detailed history of Japanese cuisine back to the early eighth century, noting how it was influenced by social change, and how even elements such as food color and tableware are taken into consideration to bring out the deeper essence of Japanese cuisine.
Of particular note were how present-day "dashi" soup stock can trace its origins back to the vegetarian cuisine of Buddhist monks, called "shojin ryori," developed during the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), and how the lords of the Muromachi Period (1336-1573) would use overly elaborate banquets to impress guests with their power. The ways in which Japanese cuisine engages the five senses -- including the sense of hearing -- were showcased through an audio demonstration of the sounds of various dishes being prepared or consumed.
The roughly 100 guests in attendance at the event also enjoyed tastings and a demonstration from Michelin-starred Chef David Bouley, a Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador and owner-chef of both Bouley Restaurant and Brushstroke Restaurant, both located in New York's Tribeca area.
Chef Bouley expounded on the advantages of Japanese ingredients and the diverse ways they can be used in various kinds of cooking. He particularly zeroed in on the various health benefits of "kuzu," and how it can be used both to replace flour and as a versatile thickener, as well as his desire to reintroduce fermented food to the American palate. Carnegie Hall's Weill Terrace Room was filled with the enticing scent of Chef Bouley's "dashi" soup stock, prepared with Hokkaido kelp, which he later used to make a savory flan known in Japanese as "chawan mushi."
Following the presentations, attendees were invited to engage in an open discussion with Chef Bouley, Professor Hamamoto and Ichiro Takahashi, Director of the Food Industry Affairs Bureau's Food Service Industry Office at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan. Guests expressed particular interest in Chef Bouley's planned year-long sabbatical to Japan in order to more deeply explore fermentation techniques, while Director Takahashi concluded the session with an outline of his hopes for the future of Japanese ingredients in the global food market.
Guests were then treated to a light meal of chestnut rice ("kuri gohan") and wagyu tataki, a form of thick-cut roast beef, matched with a variety of sake and shochu from various regions of Japan, as well as Japanese tea and sweets from Japan's northeastern Tohoku region.
Event Title: TASTE OF JAPAN in New York:Savor the Culture of Earth & Sea
Date: September 21, 2016
Place: Carnegie Hall, Weill Terrace Room, May Room
Organizer: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan
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SOURCE Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan