Leading Tokyo Culinary School Spreading Art Of Washoku Across The Globe

Leading Tokyo culinary school spreading art of washoku across the globe

Gastronomy students from around the globe are learning how to master traditional Japanese cuisine -- known as "washoku" -- in Tokyo, with the added bonus that they can obtain a diploma from one of the world's most famous culinary schools.

Le Cordon Bleu launched a Japanese cuisine program at its Tokyo campus last month, four years after the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization recognized washoku as an intangible cultural heritage, sparking increasing demands for Japanese cuisine in the global market.

Trump's Tasty Cheeseburger In Kawagoe Still Drawing Lines

Trump's tasty cheeseburger in Kawagoe still drawing lines

The cheeseburger U.S. President Donald Trump ate during his visit to Japan is still drawing lines at a Tokyo burger joint.

Yutaka Yanagisawa, the owner-cum-chef of Munch's Burger Shack, recalls Trump praised the meal and shook his hand after he served the burger to him and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a country club last week.

Japanese Wagyu Beef Debuts In Indonesia

Japanese wagyu beef debuts in Indonesia

An Indonesian meat distributor is importing Japanese "wagyu" beef, long banned in the Southeast Asian country, in cooperation with the Japan External Trade Organization to test the local market dominated by the same breed from Australia.

Johana Koswara, managing director of PT. Global Pratama Wijaya, said her company has imported more than 1.2 tons of "Omi Hime Wagyu" from western Japan as initial shipments during a six-month trial period from July to December this year. Indonesia lifted an import ban on Japanese beef last year.

Three Kinds Of 'uhan' Croquette Leave Quite An Impression

Three kinds of 'uhan' croquette leave quite an impression

A special treat awaits diners before they start eating their food at Yukiko Ishimura's cafe and restaurant in Nara city.

The plates and bowls used for the servings, made with local ingredients, are part of a collection that Ishimura built through purchases at exhibitions held nationwide as well as workshops of ceramic artists.

Nagasaki Cafe Made From Iconic British Bus Draws Shutterbugs

Nagasaki cafe made from iconic British bus draws shutterbugs

A roadside cafe made from an authentic British double-decker bus recently opened in Nagasaki Prefecture, becoming an Instagram-friendly hit among users of the photo-sharing app.

London Cafe, which opened in September in the Nagasaki town of Hasami, is housed in a bus originally manufactured in the 1960s and deployed in the British capital's public transit system. The remodeled interior has a light color scheme and retro furnishings to match the iconic red-and-white exterior.

Travelers' Treasures / Boshu-san Hana Katsuo, Boshu-san Saba Hanakezuri (dried Bonito Flakes, Dried Mackerel Flakes)

Travelers' Treasures / Boshu-san Hana Katsuo, Boshu-san Saba Hanakezuri (Dried bonito flakes, dried mackerel flakes)

The quality of ingredients affects the deliciousness of any dish, but when it comes to the delicate Japanese cuisine, high-quality soup stock is more important than anything else. Nagaishoten manufactures dried bonito, which is so essential to soup stock. The company uses old-fashioned methods and is very particular about the freshness and quality of the raw ingredients. Boshu-san Hana Katsuo (Dried bonito flakes) is made from cured, boiled bonito caught in the nearby waters of Katsuura Fishing Port. The freshly caught bonito are so fresh they can be eaten sliced raw and have a beautiful, clear color like cherry blossoms. Not only do the dried bonito flakes produce high-quality, highly fragrant soup stock, but they can also be enjoyed on pasta or pizza. Saba Hanakezuri (Dried mackerel flakes) is made from fresh blue mackerel caught when it tastes best, prior to spawning (March to May). The dried mackerel flakes produce a tasty, rich soup stock. Both products are certified by the "land of fisheries," Chiba prefecture, as a Chiba Brand Marine Product, a brand known all over Japan.

 

Travelers' Treasures / Gokujyo Nanakaku Shimakokutan (fine-quality Heptagonal Macassar Ebony Chopsticks)

Travelers' Treasures / Gokujyo Nanakaku Shimakokutan (Fine-quality heptagonal macassar ebony chopsticks)

Edo Kibashi chopsticks, prized for their functionality, are chopsticks handmade from choice woods such as ebony, red sandalwood, ironwood, boxwood, or maple. They make the most of the wood's quality. Chopsticks are personal items that people use every day. That is why the greatest appeal of Edo Kibashi chopsticks is that they come in all shapes and sizes in a range of thicknesses, lengths, and weights. In particular, Gokujyo Nanakaku Shimakokutan chopsticks are a standard favorite, easy to hold and easy to eat with. Chopsticks are held with three digits — the thumb, the index and middle fingers. That is why chopsticks with an odd number of sides fit comfortably in the hand. However, because odd-sided chopsticks do not have parallel sides such as even-sided chopsticks do, whittling them requires a high level of skill. These chopsticks are whittled into a heptagonal shape from the wide end up to 1 millimeter from the tip. The tip is further whittled down to achieve ultimate functionality.

 

Photo: Wrappers' Delights

Wrappers' delights

The Yomiuri Shimbun Staff at the Asahiamehonpo Kaguraya confectionery shop in Asakura, Fukuoka Prefecture, wrap chitose ame long stick candies in paper illustrated with cranes and turtles — two animals that symbolize long life and health. Chitose ame are eaten during the Shichigosan festival to pray for a child's safe and healthy future.

 

Australia Restaurant Of The Year Showcases Boom In Native Ingredients

Australia restaurant of the year showcases boom in native ingredients

When award-winning chef Jock Zonfrillo opened Restaurant Orana in the southern Australian city of Adelaide in 2013, he had a point to prove: native Australian ingredients are not "B-grade."

"We're not doing 18 courses of witchetty grubs (moth larvae)," said Zonfrillo. "We're making delicious food and we're doing it with Australian ingredients."

Steamed Yamato Vegetables, A Taste Of Michelin Star-quality Food

Steamed Yamato vegetables, a taste of Michelin star-quality food

Kuruminoki, a cafe-cum-grocery store, can be found next to the Japan Railways track in a residential area of Nara dotted with little old temples. It is easy to spot, as people line up to secure one of the 80 lunch servings offered each day.

A native of Takamatsu, Yukiko Ishimura, who opened the store 33 years ago, was living at that time in Nara's suburbs after getting married.