What is Japanese food? Sushi? Ramen? Kaiseki? What about Izakaya? What exactly are they? Akiko Katayama, a Japanese native, New York-based food writer and director of the New York Japanese Culinary Academy, will tell you all about the real Japanese food and food culture. Her guests will range from a sake producer whose family has centuries of sake-making history, to a great American chef who pushes the envelope of Japanese cuisine. Japanese cuisine is demystified here!
Smitten By Japanese Snacks
Our guest is Danny Taing who is the founder of Bokksu.
Bokksu means box in Japanese. His company Bokksu delivers to your door the experience of tasting authentic Japanese snacks, candies, and teas sourced directly from generations-old small family businesses.
If you visit Japan, you will instantly know that Japanese people are quite obsessed with both savory and sweet snacks. Elaborately packaged products are ubiquitous and you can easily get addicted to them.
In this episode, we will discuss how Danny got into Japanese snacks, why he decided to start a business to deliver them to your door outside Japan, unique Japanese snacks, artisanal producers he works with and much, much more!!!
North American Sake Is Here!
Our guest is Andrew Centofante who is the co-owner and head brewer of North American Sake Brewery in Charlottesville, Virgina, which opened in 2018. It is Virginia’s first and only sake brewery.
Despite its short history, the brewery has won the silver and bronze medals at the 2020 World Sake Challenge for its classic-style sake. But Andrew also makes highly imaginative sake as well.
In this episode, we will discuss how Andrew got into Japanese sake, challenges in opening a sake brewery in Virginia, his innovative philosophy of sake production and much, much more!!!
Here Is Why We Should Drink Japanese Tea
Our guest today is Ian Chun who is the owner of Japanese online tea shop and community Yunomi.life.
The website is not just selling tea but highly inspirational and educational about Japanese tea and the underlying unique Japanese culture.
For example, you can meet tea producers on the designated webpage, which tells you each vendor’s detailed history, tea fields and manufacturing philosophy with beautiful images and videos.
In this episode, we will discuss how Ian got into Japanese tea, his philosophy of connecting people through tea, benefits of drinking Japanese tea, how to enjoy Japanese tea at home and much, much more!!!
Let’s Make A Japanese-Style Bento Box!
Our my guests are Marc Matsumoto & Maki Ogawa. Marc and Maki host a popular English cooking show called BENTO EXPO produced by NHK, the national public broadcaster of Japan.
They teach a global audience how to make great bento boxes. The show is so popular that it is now in the fifth season.
Also, Marc and Maki recently published a fascinating cookbook about Japanese-style bento called “Ultimate Bento – Healthy, Delicious and Affordable 85 mix-and-match Bento Box Recipes.” In addition to 85 recipes, there are useful tips about how to pack a bento box with step-by-step images, food safety, useful gadgets et cetera.
In this episode, we will discuss why Japanese bento is unique, why Bento so is important in Japanese culture, how to make delicious and nutritious bento boxes and much, much more!
Cooking Allergen-free Dishes Inspired By My Daughter
Our guest is Atsushi Numata who is the chef and owner of Ni Japanese Deli at the Essex Market in the Lower East Side, Manhattan.
Ni Japanese Deli is unique because all the food he sells is very healthy and allergen-free. He opened the deli in 2012 inspired by his newborn baby who suffered from a lot of allergies.
In this episode, we will discuss Atsushi’s intriguing childhood of growing up in a restaurant family, how his music career shifted to cooking, how he makes delicious allergen-free dishes and much, much more!
How Omotenashi (Japanese Style Hospitality) Transformed A Mediocre Lodge Into A Relais & Châteaux Hotel
Our guest is Sachiko Nakamichi who is the co-owner of Beniya Mukayu in Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture. Beniya Mukayu is a beautiful boutique hotel located in the famous hot spring area Yamashiro. There are many hotels in the area but Mukayu is truly distinctive. It has earned multiple accolades including the member status of Relais & Châteaux, which is regarded as the best of the best in the world of hospitality. Not only that Mukayu was awarded the welcome trophy by Relais & Châteaux for its outstanding level of service.
But the success did not happen overnight. When Sachiko joined the hotel in 1988, it was a mediocre, mass market-oriented place to stay.
In this episode, we will discuss why Sachiko got involved in the hotel business, how she miraculously transformed the unremarkable hotel to the world class house of hospitality, the concept of the Japanese style hospitality ""Omotenashi"" and much, much more!!!