What is Japanese food? Sushi, or ramen, or kaiseki? What about Izakaya? Akiko Katayama, a Japanese native, New York-based food writer and director of the New York Japanese Culinary Academy, tells you all about real Japanese food and food culture. With guests ranging from sake producers with generations of experience to American chefs pushing the envelope of Japanese gastronomy, Japanese cuisine is demystified here!
Committed to Serving Authentic Japanese in Los Angeles
Our guest is David Schlosser who is the chef/owner of Shibumi in Downtown L.A.
Shibumi opened in 2016 and shortly afterwards, it earned accolades from various prominent media, including The Los Angeles Times’s Jonathan Gold who ranked Shibumi number two restaurant of the whole city. Currently, Shibumi holds one Michelin star.
David was classically trained in Japan and soulfully serves authentic Japanese dishes at Shibumi. But originally, he used to cook French cuisine at Michelin starred restaurants in France.
In this episode, we will discuss how David got into Japanese food, his training at top kaiseki restaurants in Japan, his philosophy of cooking Japanese cuisine, and much, much more!!!
272-Year-Old Brewery Makes Carbon-Neutral Sake
Our guest is Cinzia Mesolella who is in charge of PR and communication at Kobe Shushinkan Breweries in Hyogo Prefecture. Hyogo is the home of “Nada no sake”, which means “Sake from Nada”, and is synonymous with great sake.
Kobe Shushinkan Breweries was founded in 1751 and its award-winning label Fukuju has been served at Nobel prize dinners several times since 2008. Kobe Shushinkan is also known for its sustainable-minded sake production, and last year it released the world’s first carbon-free sake called Fukuju Junmai EcoZero.
Cinzia is from Italy and since 2019, she has been playing a precious role in Kobe Shushinkan’s global communication. She is also a certified sake specialist.
In this episode, we will discuss how Cinzia became the PR representative at the traditional sake brewery, what makes sake from Nada so special, Kobe Shushinkan’s sustainable production philosophy, its award-winning labels, and much, much more!!!
How to Choose Great Sushi Restaurants: The Sushi Guide Answers
Our guest is Guy Allen, a sushi blogger based in New York City. Guy fell in love with sushi at a very young age and has been exploring the world of sushi globally since then. You can find his discoveries on Instagram under @thesushiguide. His reviews are so unique and fascinating and his photos are so stunning that he has been invited to dine at great sushi restaurants in Tokyo.
In this episode, we will discuss Guy’s diverse experiences at sushi restaurants, his criteria for great sushi, why sushi is universally appealing to diners of all ages, and much, much more!!!
The Best Japanese Restaurants and Chefs in 2022
Our guest is Massud Ghaussy who has a Japanese food and restaurant blog on Instagram under TokyoManhattan.
His posts not only describe restaurants he has visited, but also include many other elements behind the dishes, such as history, culture, and cooking methods. He joined us in Episodes 125, 136, 152 and 186 and shared his favorite Japanese chefs and restaurants in the world.
Today’s topic is the best Japanese restaurants in the world in 2022. The popularity of Japanese food remains high globally, and so is the reputation of Japanese chefs working abroad.
Massud has visited many cities in the world and discovered great restaurants during the year. We will discuss all of them. Also, since this is the end-of-the-year episode, we will demystify the Japanese New Year rituals, which is a huge deal in Japan!!!
Here are the links to the restaurants discussed in this episode.
Kanazawa – (Please use translation technology accordingly!)
• Sushi Kawaramachi Hajime http://mikizo1.com/
• Kappo Hamacho https://r.gnavi.co.jp/m20u46880000/
• Higashiyama Wakon
• Restaurant AT http://www.atsushitanaka.com/
• La Scene Theleme https://www.lascenetheleme.fr/
• Toshi Restaurant https://www.toshi.es/
• Noz17 https://www.noz17.com/
• 69 Leonard Street https://www.69leonardstreet.com/
• Kissaki https://explorekissaki.com/
• Kappo Sono https://www.bbfkapposono.com/
What Is Unique About Japanese Culture?
Our guest is Greg Lam who has a popular YouTube Channel called “Life Where I'm From”. He has created over 200 videos since 2015 and his Channel has more than 1.6 million subscribers.
Greg is based in Japan and in his insightful videos, he covers a wide variety of topics from Japanese breakfast, how a ramen shop operates, why Japanese bathrooms are the best, to Japanese social issues like minorities in Japan. In each video, he accurately and analytically captures a very ordinary aspect of life in Japan, but these daily matters are the most representative of the uniqueness of Japanese culture.
Even though I grew up in Japan, I always learn something new from Greg’s videos, and his messages make me think more deeply about what Japan is.
In this episode, we will discuss why Greg moved to Japan, why he decided to start the YouTube Channel called 'Life Where I'm From', what is unique about Japanese culture, the underlying mindset and philosophies of Japanese people that make the country unique, and much, much more!!!
Fascinated by Japanese Culture: Sake, Essays, and Beyond
Our guest is Jamie Ryder, who is a certified sake sommelier as well as a Japanese culture enthusiast. Also, Jamie publishes a Japanese culture-themed magazine called Yamato Magazine, which explores Japanese culture from a variety of angles.
We have had many guests in the past, talking about Japanese food scenes in the biggest cities in the world such as Tokyo, L.A., London and Paris, but we don’t know too much about how Japanese food is gaining interest in other places.
Jamie is based in Manchester, U.K. Manchester is still a big city, the 6th largest in the country, but by no means the same as a metropolis like London. In other words, it is a great example to see what is happening with Japanese food culture in smaller cities.
In this episode, we will discuss how Jamie got into Japanese culture, what is happening with Japanese culture outside the metropolis, how Jamie gained knowledge of sake and got certified as a sake sommelier in Manchester, what should happen for Japanese sake to be enjoyed more outside global cities, and much, much more!!!
Lots of Learning!!!
Even you are Japanese, why don’t you listen this program for your understanding to foods and ingredients correctly?
Akiko is a first class interviewer, has great guests on but she’s always able to draw the best and most interesting things out of them.
One of my favorite shows...
I’m a big fan of this show. Akiko brings the best and most interesting guests regarding Japanese cuisine and culture. I’m looking forward to every episode.