Those yet to experience the pleasure of Peruvian dishes may be surprised to learn that restaurants in Lima were named the world's sixth and seventh best last year.
Two eateries in the country's capital earned spots on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list compiled by a British magazine last year, proving Peruvian cuisine is something not to be missed if you're a fan of gourmet food.
In a mansion standing in a prime location in Milan, a servant polishes silver tableware while a personal chef shows off his skills for the epicurean family that calls it home.
It's not a scene from a film, but a snippet out of the daily life that chef Tetsuo Ota experienced in his early 30s. At that time, Ota, who is now 38, worked under a company owner in the glamorous Italian city. Her house had a special room where tableware was kept. Each plate was wrapped in thin sheets of paper, and he recalls that even antique plates seemed new.
Although it was not quite in season yet, the freshly parboiled bamboo shoot tasted amazingly sweet. The subtle tang in the aftertaste suggested the arrival of spring.
Rice cooked with large pieces of bamboo shoots, complete with the vivid young leaf buds of Japanese pepper, is also a feast for the eyes.
Greengrocer Koji Ueda has been espousing the virtues of "Kyo-yasai," heirloom vegetables of Kyoto, for about 50 years.
He tells customers how the Shogoin turnip, the Kujo green onion, the Kamo eggplant and the mibuna potherb mustard taste and offers tips on the best ways to cook them in front of his store.
The fish cooked slowly in low-temperature oil is served on the plate like a spring bouquet with vegetables that vary in aroma and texture.
"Confit of splendid alfonsino with seasonal vegetables" is a dish that mirrors the spirit of Tadashi Michino, whose career spans 40 years. The 64-year-old is the chef of Michino Le Tourbillon, a French restaurant in Osaka.
With golden hair tied together, round glasses and a black chef's coat, Tadashi Michino works with brisk efficiency at his restaurant.
The 64-year-old chef, with 40 years of experience, runs Michino Le Tourbillon, a French restaurant located in the Fukushima district west of Osaka Station where redevelopment is under way.
Recipe books collected from around the globe, some written in Cyrillic and Arabic, line the bookshelf of Yuriko Aoki, a cooking expert on the world's local dishes.
She refers to the books, including an instructional tome with hand-drawn illustrations and a beautiful volume resembling a photo album, to recreate local flavors and introduces them through events and the media.