NEW YORK, March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Monday March 20th, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) New York Office hosted a media event at the Michelin three-star French restaurant, Le Bernardin, to showcase the beauty and diverse Japanese culinary cultures.
Japanese food, known as Washoku, has become an important part of food culture, especially in New York and other major cities. Washoku is a variety of Japanese food; its traditions have been passed down for subsequent generations. It has been registered by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2013 and is appreciated and recognized worldwide. Washoku's distinct flavor Umami is considered the fifth taste in the world. Today, Japanese broth (Dashi - made from dried foods such as Kombu kelp and cured bonitoes) with Umami flavor is blending through other cuisines from around the world, including French cuisine.
Le Bernardin's menu uses Japanese culinary staples such as Dashi broth with Umami flavor as part of their signature ingredients. Chef Eric Ripert and JNTO curated a three-course menu that specially showcased the unique ties between French and Japanese cuisines for the event. Individual meals were paired precisely with Japanese Sake and wines from around the world. The first course, "Seared Yellowfin Tuna, Soba Noodles Kombu Confit, Yuzu Ponzu Vinaigrette" was paired with Yuki no Bosha, Yamahai Junmai Sake made in Akita Prefecture. The sake had wine-like flavor, which was a new experience and taste for many of the event guests. The main course, "Poached Halibut, Manila Clams and Maitake Mushrooms Dashi Broth" was an arranged special menu item created specifically for the event. The Dashi made by Maitake mushrooms was made with a richer flavor than the authentic Japanese way to please American palate.
Throughout the event Chef Ripert spoke about the diversity of food cultures in Japan. "Japan is a pretty big country with a different climate, and different influences. When you go to Tokyo, you do not eat the same food that you may eat in Kyoto, Okinawa, or Hokkaido and so on. It is very diverse," said Chef Ripert. Chef also noted that "There is a continuous exchange and discovery of new techniques and ingredients between French and Japanese culinary cultures that is fascinating. More and more tourists are visiting Japan, to explore Tokyo or see famous monuments and historical sites. But more so, there are a lot of visitors that I know that are traveling to Japan for an authentic food experience. Then they come back fascinated with the food culture, just like I have been so many times myself." Many guests were captivated by the connection between Japanese and French culinary practices as well as the influence and exchange of techniques among the two cultures, which guests learned about first-hand from via the curated menu and Chef Ripert's detailed explanation of Japanese food culture and its tradition, including the beauty of Japan grown produce and its culinary art.
Japanese culinary art continues to attract many international travelers to Japan as their destination of travel. JNTO New York office will continue to promote Japan's culinary tourism in hopes of encouraging additional travelers to visit Japan and enjoy Washoku using all of their senses.
Japan National Tourism Organization
As the official tourism board of Japan, JNTO is involved in a wide range of promotional activities encouraging international travelers to visit Japan.
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SOURCE Japan National Tourism Organization