"Taste of Japan" Event Held in N.Y. to Raise Public Awareness about Appeals of Japanese Food and Cuisine Culture

TOKYO, Oct. 11, 2017 - Quality Branded Executive Chef & Partner Craig Koketsu Explains Appeals of Japanese Cuisine and Use of Japanese Ingredients -

On September 19, 2017 (EDT), in parallel with the United Nations General Assembly, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan presented "Taste of Japan," a public awareness event communicating the appeals of Japanese food and cuisine culture. Presenting to an audience of influencers -- including members of the New York media with a strong influence on the food industry, food-related businesspeople -- a Japanese cooking professor from the Tsuji Culinary Institute, Japan's largest culinary education institution, explained the appeal of Japanese food and cuisine culture that has been carefully passed down through the ages as well as a broad variety of Japanese produce resulting from the nation's varied regions and seasons. Quality Branded Executive Chef & Partner Craig Koketsu, hailed as one of New York's top up-and-coming chefs, also took the stage to engage in a talk session with Gabriella Gershenson, a New York-based writer and editor who writes for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, offering his perspective on the advantages and varied applications of Japanese ingredients.

A third-generation Japanese-American, Chef Koketsu discussed his mixed culinary roots, and recalled how he discovered his identity as a chef by observing how his first mentor in New York, influential chef Gray Kunz, applied French cooking techniques to Asian ingredients. Observing the rise of Japanese culinary influence coming to the continental U.S. through Hawaii, he said, "I definitely think the Japanese-American moment is coming."

(Photo1: Talk session

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Assistant Professor Takeshi Kimura of the Tsuji Culinary Institute joined Executive Chef Isao Yamada of New York's Brushstroke Japanese restaurant to offer a presentation on the food and cuisine culture of Japan's various regions, focusing on the distinct features granted to Japanese cuisine by the expansive variety of its produce that results from the nation's strong regionality and seasonality. Beyond discussing Japanese cuisine, they also examined the effect of "koji" rice mold on Japanese spices and sake. Looking at "miso" soybean paste made with koji, they introduced the differing flavors achieved with such forms of miso as rice miso made with fermented rice, barley miso and bean miso, as well as the key points to drawing out the "umami" of food through the application of koji. Chef Yamada further illustrated the Japanese technique of using a "kombu" seaweed wrap to truly draw out the umami of a dish. In their Japanese cooking demonstration further illustrating how to bring out umami, they showed how Japanese Spanish mackerel pickled in salt koji and flounder wrapped in kombu seaweed could be used in the preparation of Bara-Zushi, a form of local cuisine from Okayama Prefecture, western Japan.

(Photo2: Presentation of Japanese cuisine

(Photo3: Cooking demonstration of Japanese cuisine

(Photo4: SAKE tasting

(Reference: Presenter Profiles

Event Title: TASTE OF JAPAN in New York
Date: September 19, 2017
Place: New York Historical Society
Organizer: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan

About "Taste of Japan"
Site: http://www.tasteofjapan.jp
Taste of Japan is a website facilitating the dissemination of information on Japanese restaurants and cuisine culture worldwide, including details on Japanese restaurants all over the world, recipes for staple Japanese dishes, and explanations of signature Japanese ingredients. Within the site "Search Restaurants" and "Buy ingredients" tabs, "Japanese Food Supporter" badges are displayed indicating the stores that have been certified under the certification program of Japanese Food and Ingredient Supporter Stores Overseas(https://www.jetro.go.jp/en/trends/foods/supporter.html). This program was designed to certify overseas restaurants, bars and retailers which carry Japanese food and beverages as official "Japanese Food Supporter" in order to further promote Japanese food products or alcoholic beverages around the world.

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