Big Thank You for Bogota Wine & Food Festival and Fundacion Prema for inviting us – Chef Daisuke Hayashi (Sake no Hana, London), Chef Masato Shimizu (15 East, NYC), Chef Shuichi Kotani (Soba Totto, NYC), Sake Sommelier Yasu Suzuki (15 East, NYC), Chef Tsuyoshi Murakami (Kinoshita, Brazil) and Chef Hiroko Shimbo (Hiroko’s Kitchen, LLC, NYC) – to offer a charity Japanese dinner at JW Marriott Hotel in Bogota. The raised money at the dinner was donated to Hospital Los Angeles de Pasto, founded by Dr. Doris Sarasti, where over 1,000 children who are suffering from cancer, caused by the spray to destroy the cocaine plantation, are taken care of. http://www.gastronomiajaponesa.org/
Archive for April, 2012
Chef Kotani from Soba Totto performed soba making at the International Dinner at California University, California, Pittsburg. Students enjoyed the soba made by Kotani and Ramen, by Hiroko. The theme of this year’s International Dinner was “Japan”. The room was beautifully decorated with dogwood flowers; large poster of Mt. Fuji occupied the entrance hall; Japanese music was played durign the dinner. Chef Jeremy and Rob, resident chef at a cafeteria and master chefs of Japanese cuisine!, prepared and supervised the yakitori, robata, sushi and rice and vegetable station. The ticket money was generously donated to the people who were affected by earthquake and tsunami last year in Japan. Thank you chefs and students for all of your generosity. Oh, there was one more attraction. A group of Japanese taiko drammer – they were not Japanese – played powerful, amazing and impressive taiko. Thank you very much for making the dinner event so memorable.
Congratulations on the team from Mount Union College!!!
Came back from the Platinum Ohio event at Mout Union College. This educational and fun event is organized every spring by AVI Fresh. Five groups of five students – finalists – from Mount Union, Hiram, Kenyon, Malone, Tiffin College competed to cook up the best tasting and best presented meals for us, the judges. Students are required to used a “mystery” ingredient in all three dishes, including dessert. This year’s mystery ingredient was shrimp (shrimp in dessert???). This is my second year to be as a judge. Students come to the school without much information about the ingredients in the pantry as well. Students are given 90 minutes to collaborate and produce one appetizer, one main and one dessert. In this short and very pressed period the students produces quite creative, sometimes outstanding dishes. Here are some photos of the dishes which impressed me greatly.
Before the student’s contest, I did demonstration on shrimp noodles. Mixing the shrimp and white fish and piped it out into 1/8th inch thin noodles. I mixed the shrimp noodles with some soba noodles and topped with shrimp kakiage pancake. Everyone enjoyed it! Tim, thank you for your assistance during the demonstration.
The New York Times has given Kyoya 3 stars. The chef who made this happen is Chikara Sono. To offer big congratulations I went to Kyoya with Buzz and Anna and had a memorable dinner last night. Chef Sono’s specialty is Omakase in Kaiseki style. Chef Sono prepares only 12 Omakase courses a night. You need to make a reservation – $90, $120 and $150 – a day in advance if you are going to order it. Last night we ordered dishes from a la carte, which I love to do, since I have the control of selecting dishes among many delicious items. We started with Shiokara – squid pickled in its intestine – for our first drink of beer. Chef Chikara prepares Shiokara in two ways – one in the traditional and the other his way. The traditional shiokara was studded with yuzu rind, whose fragrant aroma and refreshing taste surely suppressed strong flavor of squid intestine. Delicious creation. All of the dishes which we ordered – smelt Namban-zuke, King crab and vegetables Yakimono (we cooked them over Binchotan filled charcoal hibachi; a great fun dish), hot pot dish with vegetables with cold winter mackerel, noresore (baby eel) sashimi with home made ponzu, miso marinated grilled chicken, grilled bamboo shoot and clam and Tokyo scallion takikomi gohan. What makes Chef Sono’s dishes so special is that the use of very fresh seasonal ingredients, careful preparation (not to destroy the delicate flavor of each ingredients, but enhance each of them) and clean and artistic presentation. While we were enjoying the meal at Kyoya we thought of our favorite small Japanese restaurant in Roppoingi, Tokyo. It is Shun no Aji Iji. Chef Tanaka devotes the same love, care and labor to produce mouth watering dishes in his tiny kitchen. Thank you for Chef Sono and Tanaka for inspiring me all the time.
In conjunction with my third book publication, Hiroko’s American Kitchen, I and Chef Sono will offer a cooking demonstration class at Macy’s De Gustibus on November 12th. We are excited this opportunity and are looking forward to seeing you there!
Long waited freshly harvested ramps have finally arrived at our neighbor Union Square Farmers Market this Saturday. Ramps are wild onion which has pleasant garlic aroma and taste. Ramps disappear from the market in a month or so, so I will be sautéing it (I used tonight the miso sauce which will be introduced in my upcoming book, Hiroko’s American Kitchen), deep-frying it (tempura) and simmering it in the next four weeks.
Here is the last part of shun story. Nagori is the term given to the shun food whose harvest time has nearly ended. [By the beginning of May ramps will be in Nagori season.] Nagori foods no longer excite, but consuming them give us a final chance to offer thanks and say good-bye until the shun season next year.
These days when I think of the concept of shun, I think of the lifespan of human beings — hashiri represents teenagers, sakari the middle-aged, and nagori the generation after them. But in case of the human beings I firmly believe that nagori people are the most exciting because of their accumulated knowledge, wisdom, and experience.
Shun: The Peak of Flavor – From Hiroko’s American Kitchen
Let me go back and continue to Shun story. After Hashiri, the season called Sakari follows. “Sakari describes food items that are at the very pinnacle of their season. They are larger, meatier, mightier, and more flavorful and nutritionally superior than at any other time of year. They are also bountiful, and therefore more economical.” I am waiting for lamps….which has not yet entered into even Hashiri season.
IACP Conference will be closing today. I had the pleasure to start the Conference with Kaiseki meal at Hiroko’s Kitchen on March 29th. Sixteen attendees. Thank you very much for your participation. The menu was;
• sakizuke: appetizer
Asparagus kuzu tofu?????????
• wanmono: clear soup dish
Duck meatball soup??????
• mukozuke: sashimi dish
Skipjack tuna sashimi/sushi???????????
• nimono: braised dish
• gohan and tomewan: rice and miso soup
Rice and Miso soup???????????
• mizugashi: dessert/fruits
Pear, kiwi, blood orange and grape with Crème Angles sauce???
Kamoshibito Kuheiji, Junmai Ginjo, Aichi Prefecture; Yamadanishiki rice
Oze no Yukidoke, Junmai, Gunma Prefecture
I will be posting the photos of the dishes when they are available. Anyone who attended my Kaiseki dinner and have good photos, could you please send me them at email@example.com?!?