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First in the world! Ginjo event held at the United Nations Headquarters: Part 2

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By Kosuke Kuji

The previous column detailed the first Japanese sake tasting event in the world held at the United Nations (UN), organized jointly between the Japanese government and Japan Premium Sake Association, and how the Japan Premium Sake Association was founded. Founded with forty-three member sake breweries in 1981, the Japan Premium Sake Association boasted over eighty sake breweries during its peak membership in the nineties, capitalizing on the organization's influence to promote the benefits of Ginjo sake throughout Japan through large-scale sampling events, etc.

The association's achievements are now evident in the sake category "Ginjo Sake" found today in every department store and restaurants throughout Japan, with Ginjo sake generally recognized as "high-quality sake" among other types of Japanese sake.

As the Japan Premium Sake Association boasts a long history, the necessity of working together as an association started to decline in recent years as Ginjo sake became established in the market. Therefore, the main events for the association today is the large-scale sake sampling event held in the spring and fall in Tokyo, in the fall in Osaka, and once every two years in Sapporo.

Needless to say, the predecessors played a vital role in establishing Ginjo sake throughout Japan. However, the association's seventh Chairman Naotaka Miyasaka of sake brewery "Masumi" in Nagano prefecture stated during his speech on the association's general policies, that the association's new mission based on the achievements of predecessors is no longer limited to domestic efforts, but to promote the consumption of "Ginjo sake" worldwide, accelerating efforts to promote Ginjo sake for worldwide consumption.

We will continue further in our next issue.


「世界初!国連(UN)本部での吟醸酒の会 その2」

前回のコラムでは、世界初の国連(UN)での日本国政府と吟醸酒協会が共催で行った酒の会について、吟醸酒協会という団体の生い立ちについてお話させていただきました。1981年に43社の蔵元でスタートしたこの吟醸酒協会は、一番加盟蔵が多かった90年代には80以上の蔵が加盟し、日本国内へ吟醸酒の素晴らしさを、大規模な試飲会などを通して、団体の力を持って伝播していきました。

その功績は、今では日本国内どこのデパートでも、飲食店でも「吟醸酒」というカテゴリーのお酒を見ることが出来るほど一般的になり、吟醸酒は日本酒の中でもとりわけ「品質の高い酒」と一般認知されるようになりました。

このように、長い歴史を誇る吟醸酒協会ですが、ここ数年は吟醸酒の定着化と共に、団体で行動する理由が減ってきており、春と秋に東京で開催する大規模な試飲会と、秋に大阪で、2年に1度札幌で開催する大規模な試飲会が主な事業となっておりました。

確かに私たちの先代の努力で、吟醸酒は日本国内に定着化して一定の役割は達成されたのですが、第7代の理事長で長野県の「真澄」醸造元の宮坂直孝氏は、所信表明演説で、先代達が築き上げてきた歴史をしっかりと踏まえながら、国内にとどまらず、世界で今度は「吟醸酒」を定着化させていくことこそが吟醸酒協会の新しい使命である、とお話し、吟醸酒の世界定着へ向けた取り組みを加速化させることになりました。

続きは次回です。
#alljapannews #sake #ginjo #masumi

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Ramen and creative Japanese cuisine are enjoyed at modern and sophisticated space

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Ramen and creative Japanese ... Ramen and creative Japanese ... Ramen and creative Japanese ... Ramen and creative Japanese ... Ramen and creative Japanese ... Ramen and creative Japanese ... Ramen and creative Japanese ...
By Aya Ota

In the Flatiron District, there is a restaurant known as a modern and sophisticated space where you can enjoy superbly creative washoku and ramen. It is "ROKI Le IZAKAYA". It is also gaining attention as a collaboration of Koji Hagihara, one of the top Japanese chefs in New York, and Keiko Aoki, CEO, Benihana of Tokyo, and they just had their one-year anniversary on February 14.

"The dining scene of New York keeps progressing. So it is important to emphasize characteristics or uniqueness of our restaurant by condensing the menu and making the restaurant more specialized," says Mr. Hagihara, owner and executive chef. At the end of this January, he boldly narrowed down to reduce the number of menu items by 2/3 by analyzing the data of the past year from the opening, and creating a prix fixe menu called "ROKI Special 3 Course Dinner" ($42/person, minimum two orders). This course consists of "Japanese Canape" (You choose 3 out of 9 kinds), "Specialty Buns" (You choose 1 out of 3 kinds), and "Ramen Hot Pot" (You choose 1 out of 3 kinds). They hope customers will choose the course as their recommended signature menu in which they have confidence, and hopefully add sushi or sashimi from the a-la-carte menu. Mr. Hagihara continued, "By narrowing down the menu items, we can not only make the operation and cost performance more effective, but also enhance the quality of food dishes by spending more efforts on each item."

The "Japanese Canape" which consists of fried sushi formed-rice base topped with plenty of ingredients such as sea urchin, sweet shrimp, guacamole, ahi poke, etc., is gorgeous to look at. "The "Pork Belly Buns", which have a reputation as New York's best, are meant to be eaten by sandwiching tenderly cooked kakuni pork in the buns yourself with a lot of mustard/ mayo, and wildly biting into them.

It is recommended that you use your hands to eat canape and buns to fully engage your 5 senses, and enjoy the touch. There are 5 kinds of broth for ramen and ramen pot dishes. The noodles which took 3 years for Mr. Hagihara to develop are his proud creation, and take only 1 minute to cook, retains texture well, mixes well with broth, and have a smooth texture. Many customers rave about the ramen specialty restaurant like quality. They are so good that you feel like tasting all of the broth choices.

The performance - pouring of broth at your table using the concept, "cooking is a form of entertainment, so its performance should be enjoyed", leaves a strong impression. With the "Catch of the Day Sashimi Platter", you are entertained by dry ice watered right after an explanation of beautifully presented seasonal fresh fish.

Mr. Hagihara, the creator of numerous dishes that are full of impressions and surprises, has a background in Chinese cuisine. He demonstrated his skills as a right-hand man of Yuji Wakiya, Iron Chef, at "Akasaka Wakiya, Ichiemicharou", the highest achievement in Japan's Chinese cuisine field, and in 2007, he came to the US to become the head chef of "New York Wakiya" when it opened. After that, he achieved the accomplishment of becoming head chef and manager for "Hakata Ton Ton", a restaurant that became so popular that one could hardly get a reservation. He is also very much sought after in other various fields such as appearing in TV cooking programs, lecturing at seminars, cooking for state guests for a Japanese government reception party, etc. Mr. Hagihara says, "Even if techniques and condiments of Chinese cuisine are used, people can enjoy such dishes as washoku, as long as Japanese ingredients are used, and the food is served on Japanese plates. That is one interesting thing about New York." When you step into the restaurant and proceed straight along the corridor toward the counter kitchen located in the center of the space opening up in front of you, you are welcomed by Mr, Hagihara. With a lively and loud greeting, "Irasshaimase!!" he sounds a gong to welcome you.

The name, "ROKI" is taken after Rocky Aoki, Benihana's founder. The reason for adding "IZAKAYA" to the name is because Japanese izakaya-style restaurants serve many different dishes, and there are "no borders". Now, after 10 years in the US, full of passion with enough experiences and power, he is are aiming for the world. I heard that they already have gotten offers to open restaurants in Europe and Middle East as "ROKI", and as ramen or bun specialty restaurants. I cannot keep my eyes off of their future endeavors.


モダンで洗練された空間で、ラーメンや創作和食を楽しむ

フラットアイアン地区に、モダンで洗練された空間で、抜群の創作和食やラーメンを楽しめる評判の店がある。『ROKI LeIZAKAYA』-- ニューヨークを代表する日本人シェフ、萩原好司氏と、『Benihana of Tokyo』のCEO、青木恵子氏が提携して開店したことでも注目されており、この2月14日でちょうど1周年を迎えたところだ。

「ニューヨークのダイニングシーンは進化し続けている。メニューを凝縮して専門化し、店の特徴や個性を際立たせることが重要」と語るのは、オーナー兼料理長を務める萩原氏。開店後1 年の実績データを分析し、この1 月末に、大胆にもメニュー数を3分の2まで絞り込み、『ROKI Special 3 Course Dinner』(42 ドル/1 人、2 人前〜)というプリフィックスコースを用意した。コースは「和風カナッペ」(9 種類から3 つ選択)、「特製バンズ」(3 種類から1 つ選択)、「ラーメン鍋」(3 種類から1 つ選択)という構成だ。同店が自信を持って提案する看板メニューとして、客には基本的にコースを選んでもらい、アラカルトで寿司や刺身などを追加してもらいたいという狙いだ。「メニューを絞り込むことで、オペレーションやコスト面も効率化できるだけでなく、一品一品に力を注ぎクオリティを高めることができる」と萩原氏は続ける。

『和風カナッペ』は、寿司飯を整形して揚げたベースに、ウニや甘エビ、ワカモレやアヒポケといった具材をたっぷり盛り付けたもので、見た目も華やか。"ニューヨークNo.1のバンズ"と言われる『豚の角煮バンズ』は、トロトロに煮込んだ角煮に辛子マヨネーズをたっぷり付けて、客が自ら角煮をバンズに挟んで豪快に頬張る。「五感をフルに活用し、触感も楽しんでほしい」という意図から、カナッペもバンズも手で食べることを勧めている。ラーメンとラーメン鍋用には、5 種類のブロスを用意。麺は、萩原氏が3 年かけて開発したもので、1 分で茹でられて、伸びにくく、ブロスが絡みやすく、食感もなめらか…という自信作。多くの客から"ラーメン専門店のようなクオリティ"と大絶賛され、すべてのブロスを試したくなる味だ。「料理はエンターテイメント。パフォーマンスも楽しんでほしい」というコンセプトで、卓上でブロスをかけてくれる演出が印象深い。「旬の刺身盛り合わせ」は、美しく盛り付けられた旬の魚を丁寧に説明してくれた直後、目の前でドライアイスに水を注いで楽しませてくれる。

感動と驚きに満ちた料理の数々を創り出す萩原氏、バッググラウンドは中国料理だ。日本中国料理界の最高峰『赤坂WAKIYA-笑美茶楼』で、料理の鉄人・脇屋友詞氏の右腕として活躍、2007 年『New York Wakiya』開店に伴い渡米し料理長を務めた。その後、『Hakata TonTon』の料理長兼マネージャーとして、同店を予約の取れない人気店に成長させた実績も持つ。その他にも、料理番組出演、セミナー講師、政府関係レセプションで国賓に料理を振る舞うなど、多方面に引っ張りだこだ。「中国料理の技法や調味料を使っても、和食材を使って和食器に盛り付けると、和食として楽しんでもらえる。そこがニューヨークのおもしろいところ」と萩原氏は語る。店に足を踏み入れ、障子に挟まれた通路をまっすぐ進み、ぱっと開けた空間の中央に位置するカウンターキッチンへ進むと、そこに必ず萩原氏が出迎えてくれる。威勢のよい「いらっしゃいませ!」というかけ声と共に銅鑼を鳴らし、笑顔で客を歓迎してくれる。

店名の『ROKI』は『Benihana』創業者のロッキー青木氏の名前から取った。

"IZAKAYA" と入れたのは、日本の居酒屋にはいろいろな料理が並び、"国境がない"という意味も込めている。渡米後10 年経ち、経験や実力も兼ね備え、情熱もみなぎっている今、目指しているのは世界だ。『ROKI』として、またラーメンやバンズの専門店として、すでに欧州や中東からもオファーがあるという。今後の動向から目が離せない。

ROKI Le IZAKAYA
12 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10010
(646) 383-7654
https://www.rokileizakaya.com/

Mon.-Fri. Lunch 12:00pm-2:30pm
Mon.-Sat. Dinner 5:00pm-11:00pm
Sunday Closed
#alljapannews #ramen #Japanese #cuisine #ROKI #izakaya #NY

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A restaurant particular about ingredients, run by a chef from Matsuhisa

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A restaurant particular about i... A restaurant particular about i... A restaurant particular about i... A restaurant particular about i... A restaurant particular about i...
By Keiko Fukuda

There is a restaurant on the first floor of a modern building that stands out facing Melrose Avenue. It is UMEDA, run by Mr. Takuya Umeda who used to be a chef at Matsuhisa, and became independent.

There is a pond under the glass floor of the entrance of the restaurant, and the ceiling is designed to look like waving water. You feel the special thoughts of the designer that were put into both the exterior and interior. I heard that the owner of the building took charge of the designing of the building. Mr. Umeda was introduced to this building during its construction.

He was drawn to its good location, and decided to close the deal. At the time, he expected to open the restaurant in about 6 months or so, but it actually took 3 long years to open due to taking a long time to acquire various licenses. You can say that this is a typical hardship that every owner who wants to open a new restaurant in Los Angeles experiences.

Mr. Umeda is from Hokkaido. After working for a restaurant in Sapporo, an acquaintance contacted him about a position opening in a Japanese restaurant in London. He went for the interview because he had always been interested in working overseas. He passed the interview, and got hired in 1987. In 1997, he moved to NOBU London. NOBU London is the second NOBU after NOBU New York was established by the charismatic chef, Nobuyuki Matsuhisa.

After that, Mr. Umeda moved to the Beverly Hills Matsuhisa, andgrew his experience and career under Nobu-san for 20 years. I asked what he absorbed from his master. "I learned from him, the techniques as to how to apply something extremely innovative on something very basic. The way he thinks of how to create something new from ingredients from all over the world that influence him is fantastic".

As such, he finally reached the point of opening the restaurant UMEDA in March of 2017. UMEDA has very extensive menu for both lunch and dinner. The best seller at lunch is the Bento Box ($42). For dinner, in addition to various dinner items, 4 omakase-style dinners are served; tasting ($100), sushi and sashimi ($120), chef's choice ($150), and the highest course which includes a Miyazaki beef dish ($170).

From the stand point of applying innovative arrangements to basic Japanese cuisine, you can say that the Matsuhisa style is deeply embedded into Umeda's cooking. However, now that he became independent, he also tries to develop his own color in his cooking style. Especially with his original sauce, "Koji salsa", to accentuate fish and meat, for instance, he is striving to establish the Umeda style.

Moreover, since he is from Hokkaido, he is particularly picky about seafood ingredients, and many ingredients are sent directly from the Tsukiji market. "You can place orders to Tsukiji directly now, which allows for fresher fish in less time, and cheaper acquisition. Someone actually goes to the market to buy wholesale and send to us, so it is very easy to deal with because we can convey our opinions directly," says Mr. Umeda.

After starting his career in Sapporo, he wandered through various places - London, Beverly Hills, Melrose, and now has 35 years of experience. Umeda-san's idea is to just create the kinds of dishes which are wanted by customers, and would please them. He also shows his flexibility by saying, "If requested by a customer, I would like to challenge it with my experience and knowledge without being conservative and declining to make it, even if it is not a Japanese dish. A new thing could be born unexpectedly like that, couldn't it?"

Lastly, I asked him what kind of restaurant he would like to see UMEDA become 5 years from now. He said, "I would like it to be a place where customers enjoy vividly with their favorite food and drinks - like the image of an English pub." They say that for British people, pubs are an essential part of their lives. I look forward to the day when UMEDA becomes such a place for the people around the Melrose area.


松久出身のシェフが手がける食材にこだわるレストラン

メルローズ・アベニューに面した一際モダンな建物の1階にあるのは、松久のシェフから独立した梅田拓也さんが手がける店、UMEDA 。エントランスのガラスフロアの下には池、店内の天井はまるで波打つようにデザインされている。外観、内観ともにデザイナーのこだわりが感じられる。聞けば、建物のオーナー自身が設計も担当したのだそうだ。梅田さんはこの物件の建設中に案内され、ロケーションに魅力を感じて契約。しかし、半年程度で開店できるだろうと踏んでいたのが、実際は諸々のライセンス取得に時間がかかり、オープニングまでに3年もの年月を要した。ロサンゼルスで新規のレストランを開店させるオーナーには付き物の苦労と言えるかもしれない。

梅田さんは北海道の出身。札幌市内の店で勤務した後に、知り合いからロンドンの日本食店で料理人を探していると声がかかった。以前から海外に興味があったことから迷わず面接を受け、採用された。それが1987 年のことだった。さらに、1997 年にはNOBU ロンドンに転職した。カリスマシェフの松久信幸さん(以下ノブさん)がNOBU ニューヨークに続いて、2号店として手がけた店だ。 その後、梅田さんはビバリーヒルズの松久に移り、20 年にわたってノブさんの下で経験を積んできた。どのようなことを師匠から吸収したかを聞いた。

「ベーシックなものがあって、その上で、非常に斬新なアレンジを施す点を学ばせてもらいました。世界中の食材から影響を受けて、それからいかに新しいものを作り上げるかというアイデアが素晴らしいのです」

こうして、2017 年3月に開店にこぎ着けた UMEDA では、ランチ、ディナーともに多彩なメニューを揃えている。ランチタイムに一番出るのは弁当ボックス(42 ドル)。夜は各種ディナー以外にテイスティング(100 ドル)、寿司と刺身(120 ドル)、シェフズチョイス(150 ドル)、さらに宮崎牛の一品が含まれる最上級コース(170 ドル)の4種類のお任せを提供。

日本料理の基礎の上に斬新なアレンジといった点では、松久スタイルが染み込んでいるとも思える梅田さんの料理だが、独立したからには自分自身の色を料理で出していこうとしている。特にオリジナルのソース「麹サルサ」で魚や肉にアクセントを加えるなど、梅田スタイルの確立に努めているとのこと。

また、北海道出身であることからも魚介のネタにはこだわりがあり、築地直送の食材を多数取り寄せている。「今は直接、築地に注文を入れられるので、鮮度がよく、時間も短く、値段も安くなっています。何より実際に市場で魚を買って卸す人が送ってくるので、どういう魚がほしいかといった、こちらの意見も直接伝わる分、非常にやりやすいです」と梅田さん。

札幌に始まり、ロンドン、ビバリーヒルズ、そしてメルローズと各地を渡り歩きながら、シェフとしての経験は35 年になると言う。そんな梅田さんが理想とするのは、あくまで顧客が食べたいと思う料理、喜んでくれる料理を作ることだと語る。「お客さんがリクエストしてきたら、それは日本料理じゃないからと保守的にならずに、自分の経験と知識を駆使して挑戦したいと思います。新しいものとはそうやって意外なところから生まれるものではないでしょうか」と、フレキシブルな姿勢を見せる。 最後に5年後のUMEDA をどういう店にしたいかを聞くと、「好きな料理とお酒でワイワイと賑やかにお客さんに楽しんでもらえる店にしたいですね。イメージはイギリスのパブです」と梅田さんは答えた。イギリス人の生活にパブはなくてはならないものだと言われるが、メルローズ界隈の人々にとってUMEDA がそういう存在になれることを楽しみに待ちたい。

UMEDA Restaurant
6623 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 965-8010
http://umedarestaurant.com/

Mon.-Sat. 12:00pm-2:30pm
6:00pm-10:30pm
Sunday close
#alljapannews #umeda #restaurant #pub #LA #bento #Japanese #sushi

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Marufuku “Hakata ramen” breaking in to Japan Town of San Francisco

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By Elli Sekine

A new ramen phenomenon is happening again in San Francisco’s Japan Town, a highly-competitive district for ramen restaurants. Over the last few years, the popularity of “tonkotsu style ramen” has grown even bigger due to the appearance of “Mensho Tokyo,” “Ippudo”, etc. Moreover, a Hakata style ramen specialty restaurant which nobody else had the title for, called “Marufuku” opened there in February of 2017. Hakata style ramen is new to Americans, and it is attracting a lot of attention. Ever since the opening day, people have been forming a long line to taste their soulful bowls of ramen. What is the difference between
“tonkotsu style” and “Hakata style”? There was a record showing that tonkotsu style ramen was born in “Hakata” Fukuoka, the place of origin, in 1941.

It is said that the tonkotsu style ramen began as follows: some noodles were used to be served as the last ingredient of the “Hakata nabe” a chicken stock based hot pot dish. Then, tonkotsu (pork bone based stock) was added to the soup, and Chinese noodles were thrown in the soup to be combined, and form the “tonkotsu ramen.”

Back then, there were no buildings in the Hakata district like now, and ramen which was served at the street carts by the river is the origin of “Hakata ramen.” The soup served then was mostly murky-white and rich, but light tasting tonkotsu-based, and the noodles were the very thin, straight kind, and topped with Hakata benishoga (red ginger shreds). After the war (1945), due to the idea that ramen was for bluecollar workers, the noodles were very thin for quick cooking, and a small amount was served at a time to retain the texture, and more noodles (kaedama) could be ordered to be added to the soup while you eat. This tradition still continues until this day. Now, in Fukuoka’s ramen restaurants, it is very common that you can select your favorite hardness of the noodles from extra hard to extra soft by adjusting the duration of cooking time. Variation of ramen styles such as “Kumamoto ramen”, “Kurume ramen”, etc., have been born in various.

Kyushu areas since, but “Hakata ramen” has been the favorite soul food for the people of Hakata through the ages. Meanwhile, the broth, which used to be so simple, the quality of the noodles, and the toppings have been perfected, but who could imagine that Hakata ramen would become a gourmet food known to the world like now? “Marufuku” which challenges itself at the reproduction of such Hakata style ramen, is a very important restaurant in the Bay Area.

“Marufuku” heavily values “teamwork” to run the restaurant. They have a purpose which is “to offer uncompromising genuine ramen to create a huge boom” in the Bay Area where cutting-edge information transmission is launched, and major IT companies such as Google and Apple have settled in. They built the foundation of the team by hiring someone who has extensive experience in working in the ramen industry, both in Japan and Los Angeles, to become the manager. The restaurant is located on the second floor of the Kinokuniya Building, which is an ideal place. After many trials and errors, the very first Hakata ramen specialty restaurant in San Francisco, “Marufuku” opened in 2017. The Hakata style, which was new to the US, was well received by the local Americans, and “Marufuku” quickly became very successful.

I recommend “HAKATA DX” ($14.99) first. Their proud soup which has been slowly cooked for 20 hours defines its Hakata style taste by the added housemade special sauce. You never get tired of its rich, deep, yet light tasting soup. The volume is perfect, and served in a classy milky-color bowl made by a Japanese craftsman, which gives a nice contrast. The extra-thin straight noodles specially ordered from a local noodle maker, are original and hard to find anywhere else. The noodles mix and match well with the soup.

The Hakata style tradition, kaedama, can be ordered for $2 each, which allows you to enjoy the noodles at their best texture until the end. Rich topping selections include large pork kakuni, flavor enhanced boiled eggs, corn, cloud ears, mushrooms, and Hakata benishoga (red ginger shreds). Other menu items include “Hakata Tonkotsu” ($10.99), “Chicken Paitan” ($10.99), “Chicken Paitan DX” ($14.99), etc. The Paitan ramen dishes are so popular, and about 30% of the customers order them. However, for the multi-cultured San Francisco, they also pay special attention to some customers who do not eat pork for religious reasons. One of the popular toppings, the juicy kakuni, can be ordered separately as an a-la-carte menu item as Kakunidon (bowl) ($7).

The drink menu includes draft beers, shochu, Japanese sake, etc. At night time, more customers drink sake, but the rotation is rather quick. However, you need to be aware that some waiting is inevitable on weekends.

“Marufuku” is striving to make a strong team by raising the motivation of the staff members who have various backgrounds and share this strong belief, that “a strong enough wish can surely be conveyed to our customers, overcoming language or nationality barriers.” I would like to see “local” food cultures spread in the way that this restaurant is doing, which offers ramen that is customized to the local area.


「博多ラーメン」がSF日本町でブレーク中!

ラーメンの激戦区、サンフランシスコ日本町にまた新たなラーメン現象が起こっている。

この2、3 年、「豚骨ラーメン」は「Mensho Tokyo」や「Ippudo」の出現で益々その人気は高まっている。しかし、まだ誰も看板をあげてない博多ラーメン専門店の「Marukufu」が2017 年2 月、日本町に新開店した。アメリカ人にはまだ聞きなれない「Hakata」スタイルは話題を呼び、その新食感を味わおうと、オープン以来、長蛇の列ができている。

「豚骨ラーメン」と「博多ラーメン」の違いは何だろう。発祥の地、「博多」(福岡)の街でとんこつラーメンが生まれたのは1941 年という記録がある。元々は鶏ガラ出汁の「博多鍋」のシメとして登場した麺は、その後豚骨を加えたスープに中華麺と組み合わせたのが「豚骨ラーメン」の始まりと言われている。

当時博多地区には今のようなビル群は無く、川端の屋台で作られていたラーメンが「博多ラーメン」オリジナルだ。白濁色でコクがあるあっさりした豚骨スープが多く、極細麺ストレートに博多紅生姜を加えたのが主な特徴。戦後(1945 〜)、労働者向けの食事だったことから、麺のゆで時間が少ない細麺が使われたが、麺がすぐ伸びてしまうため少量に盛り、替え玉(麺だけ食べている途中に追加する)を注文する習慣が今でも続いている。

今では麺の固さも客の好みに応じて「バリカタ」から「バリヤワ」まで茹で時間を変えるのも福岡のラーメン店では一般的。その後九州各地で豚骨は「熊本ラーメン」や「久留米ラーメン」など何種類にも別れているが、「博多ラーメン」は時代を超え博多っ子に愛され続けた庶民食だ。今ではその素朴だったブロスと麺の質、トッピングも極められ、世界にその名を馳せるグルメ食になるとは誰が想像しただろう。その博多スタイルの再現に挑む「Marufuku」はベイエリアでも貴重な
店だ。

「Marufuku」は、“ チーム” を重視した店作りを実施している。グーグルやアップルなどの大手IT起業が集結し、最先端のグルメ情報発信基地になるベイエリアで、「妥協しない本物のラーメンを提供し、大きなブームを巻き起こしたい」という目的を持ち、日本とトサンゼルスでラーメン修行をした豊富な経験を持つ人材をマネージャーに起用し、チームの枠組を作った。場所は紀伊國屋ビルの2階という絶好の場所。あらゆる試行錯誤を繰り返し2017年、サンフランシスコで初めてとなる「博多ラーメン」専門店、「Marufuku」をオープンした。まだアメカでは新しい博多スタイルは、地元アメリカ人に受け入れられ、開店まもなく繁栄店となった。

メニューの中で一番おすすめは「HAKATA DX」。($14.99)自慢のスープは、20 時間じっくり煮込んだものに、自家製の特性タレが「博多味」を決定付ける。リッチで味わい深いのにあっさりしているので飽きのこない味だ。日本の職人による上品な和噐に白濁色が映え、量も丁度良く盛られている。ローカルの製麺所に特別オーダーして製麺された極細ストレート麺は、他の店ではなかなか味わえないオリジナル。スープとの愛称が良く絡みやすい。博多ラーメンの伝統である替玉も$2で追加することができる為、最後までコシのある麺が味わえる。

トッピングは大きなサイズの豚の角煮、味たまご、コーン、きくらげ、マッシュルームに博多紅生姜などボリュームたっぷりの内容。メニューにはその他、「Hakata Tonkotsu]($10.99), 「ChikenPaitan]($10.99)「Chikin paitan DX」($14.99) などがある。客の約3割が注文しているというパイタンラーメンも人気がある他、多文化社会のサンフランシスコで宗教上豚を食しない客への配慮もある。人気トッピングの一つであるジューシーな角煮は、角煮丼($7)の単品メニューもある。ドリンクメニューには、ドラフトビール、焼酎、日本酒などを揃えている。夜は酒を飲む客も増えるが、比較的回転は早い方だ。しかし週末になると待ち時間は覚悟した方が良い。

「Marufuku」は、「強い想いがあれば、言語や国籍を乗り越え客に伝わる」という信念を持ち、多種多様なバックグラウンドを持つ従業員のモチベーションをあげ、強いチーム作りに務めている。同店のように地方に特化したラーメンを提供する「ご当地グルメ」ブームが広がるのを期待したい。



Marufuku
1581 Webster St. Ste 235
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 872-9786
https://www.marufukuramen.com/

Tue.-Fri. 11:30am-2:00pm
5:30pm-9:30pm
Sat. 11:30am-3:00pm
5:00pm-9:30pm
Sun. 11:30am-3:00pm
5:00pm-9:00pm
#alljapannews #marufuku #hakata #ramen #tonkotsu #paitan #kakuni #SF

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When in Rome…

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By Yuji Matsumoto

If you ask me if I enjoy having cocktails, my answer would be no. But that’s my personal preference. Develop sake and shochu cocktails at the restaurant and sell it. These cocktails are actually more popular, so I even have a “Sake Bomb” (a mix of hot sake and beer) on the menu. Other popular cocktails on the menu are the “sake-tini” using nigori (unfiltered)sake, and shochu mojitos.

Perhaps the sake and shochu specialists and breweries would scorn me for straying from traditions, but I am simply following the proverb of “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” An American once asked me, “The Japanese people said that to me during my Japan stay, but then why don’t you follow that saying yourselves?” It was a perfectly logical question.

What’s important here is that I used sake and shochu as base for the cocktails. It is about showcasing the many ways you can enjoy them other than having them straight, so people can gradually learn their flavors.

The reason why sushi became so popular in America is, without any dispute, because of the new-wave creation of “California Rolls,” although it was looked down as not being authentic by many sushi chefs from Japan. But this contributed to the increase of sushi fans, bringing in customers to the traditional nigiri-only (i.e., no rolls) and chef’s-special-only venues. If the California-style sushi, such as spicy tuna rolls and shrimp tempura rolls, disappeared from the current venues, the sushi fan base would probably diminish to 1/10 or even 1/20 of its current scale. No doubt this would eradicate the currently popular sake and shochu markets.

It is my belief that those selling sake and shochu should make efforts to “localize” when recommending them.


郷に入っては郷に従え

個人的にカクテルを飲むかと聞かれれば答えは「ノー」だ。しかし、それは私個人の嗜好であり、レストランではもちろん日本酒や焼酎カクテルは開発し販売している。むしろ、これらの日本酒・焼酎カクテルの方がうけが良く、熱燗とビールを混ぜた「サケボム」もメニューに載せているくらいだ。また、にごり酒を使ったカクテル、サケティーニ、焼酎ベースのモヒート(ミントとライム、もとはラム酒がベース)などは飛ぶように売れる。

業界の日本酒・焼酎スペシャリストや蔵元の多くからは「邪道」と叱られるかもしれないが、日本にある諺で「郷に入っては郷に従う」を忠実に守ってるだけの話だ。以前、あるアメリカ人に聞かれたことである。「日本にいる時に日本人から教わった諺だが、なぜ海外にくると日本人は郷に従わないのか」と、ごもっともだ。

重要な事は創作したカクテルになっているベースのアルコールが日本酒や焼酎であり、ストレートだけでなくいろいろな楽しみ方があること、そして徐々に酒本来の味を教えることだ。

寿司が米国でこれほどの市民権を得たのは、まぎれもなく創作すし「カリフォルニアロール」(多くの日本からの職人さんは邪道と決め付けたが)のおかげと言っても過言ではない。これが寿司人口を増やし現在、握り一本、おまかせオンリーの店でも顧客が来るようになったのだ。もし、スパイシーツナロールや海老天ロールなどの創作寿司が現在の寿司店から姿を消したら米国での寿司人口は1/10以下、いや1/20以下にもなるだろう。現在売れている日本酒や焼酎の市場がおそらく消滅してしまうのは間違いない。

日本酒や焼酎に携わってる方は、もっと「郷に従った」楽しい日本酒や焼酎の提案をしていくべきである。
#alljapannews #sake #shochu #localize

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First in the world! Ginjo event held at the United Nations Headquarters: Part I

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By Kosuke Kuji

The first Ginjo event in the world was held at the United Nations headquarters in New York several years ago. This was the first Japanese sake event held in the world inside the United Nations headquarters by the “Japan Premium Sake Association,” of which I’m also a member, jointly with the Japanese Government.

To briefly describe the background that led to this first Ginjo sake event held at the United Nations in the world, the organization “Japan Premium Sake Association” (of which I’m a member) was founded in 1981 with an ambitious goal to make Ginjo sake widespread and casually enjoyed throughout Japan, at a time when Ginjo sake was produced only as submissions for sake competitions, even in Japan.

Sake in the Japanese market at the time consisted mostly of sake brands advertised in commercials produced by major sake producers. At the time, sake was distinguished mostly as first or second grade sake, with special-designation sake such as Junmai not yet distributed.

At a time when sake was not named according to the production method or sake ingredients, most sake such as Ginjo and Junmai were all classified as “second grade.”

The National Tax Administration Agency sponsored the only competition for domestic sake production techniques in Japan at the time, the “Annual Japan Sake Awards.” The sake production techniques used for the Daiginjo recognized with the Gold Prize was used on a trial-and-error basis to produce sake that would sell in the market.

While this was an impossible feat for one company alone, forty-three breweries awarded the Gold Prize during the Annual Japan Sake Awards gathered at the time to make quality Ginjo sake widespread in the domestic market.
To be continued in the next issue…


酒豪大陸 「世界初!国連(UN)本部での吟醸酒の会 その1」

ニューヨークにある国際連合(国連 UN)本部で、世界初の吟醸酒の会が数年前に開催されました。国連本部内での日本酒のイベントは世界初で、その世界で初めての酒の会を私も加盟する「日本吟醸酒協会」という団体と、日本国政府との共催で行いました。

この世界初の国連での吟醸酒の会が開催されるまでの経緯についてお話させていただきますと、私たちが所属する「日本吟醸酒協会」という団体は、1981年に発足し、まだ吟醸酒が日本国内でも鑑評会の酒でしかなかった時代に、吟醸酒を日本中で普通に飲めるように普及させていこう、という大きな目標を掲げました。

その当時の日本国の日本酒は、大手メーカーの大量導入されたCMのお酒がほとんどで、まだ純米酒や吟醸酒などの特定名称酒が流通しておらず、ほとんどすべてが「1級」「2級」と言った級別で区分けされていました。

製造方法や、原材料によって名前を名乗ることが出来ない時代で、今の吟醸酒や純米酒などのお酒は全て「2級」に分類されておりました。

そんな中、当時は国税庁が主催していた、日本で結一の日本国内の日本酒の技術コンテスト「全国新酒鑑評会」というものがあり、そこで金賞を受賞した大吟醸の技術を使って作った酒を何とか市場で売れないか、試行錯誤していた時代でした。

1社では出来ませんが、全国新酒鑑評会金賞受賞の蔵元が43社も当時集まって、この素晴らしい吟醸酒を世の中に広めていこうと立ち上がりました。

続きは次回になります。
#alljapannews #sake #ginjo #NY #junmai

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WOKUNI Spreading Japan’s high-quality fresh seafood to the world

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By Aya Ota

“WOKUNI”, an innovative restaurant which offers fresh seafood cultivated directly from their own self-operated aqua-farm in Nagasaki, appeared in Midtown in late October, and has become the talk of the town.

“I would like to spread the Japanese food culture in which people eat fresh seafood, to the world,” says Daiichi Sakamoto, President of Tokyo Ichiban Foods (the company is listed with the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange). This company opened a fugu (blowfish) specialty restaurant called “Torafugu Tei” first in 1996 in Shinjuku, Tokyo, and since then, they have developed a restaurant chain of 50 restaurants specialized in seafood in the Kanto area including “Torafugu Tei” and “Uohkuni”, etc.

With the company’s philosophy, “to serve high quality food ingredients at reasonable prices”, they launched their own aqua-farm in 2011. They are Japan’s one and only food service company which handles everything by themselves including producing, processing, and selling of seafood.

The sales points of “WOKUNI”, their first overseas development, are undoubtedly their own brand tuna and adult yellowtail. Their own aquafarm is located in a cove flourishing with nature, where the clear stream of Yasumandake, the highest peak of Hirado City, Nagasaki prefecture, and Tsushima Ocean current meet. They conduct an environment-friendly sustainable cultivation by not catching young fish until they grow to become as large as 50 kilograms or more, etc. They also follow through with quality control by feeding fish with human-consumable fresh sardine and mackerel. I was impressed to know that they produce tuna and yellowtail, considering American customers who do not care for the fishy smell by making adjustments with the foods for the fish. They are the most particular about freshness. Normally, it would take 5 days for the fish to arrive at the restaurant if distributed through the fish market, but for them, it takes only 48 hours because they use their own distribution route to directly send fish from the aqua-farm. The fish are never frozen in the direct shipping, so the quality and taste stay its best. Cultivating fish in its own fishing ground makes consistent supplying possible, and also their own distributing system allows them to keep the prices as low as 60 to 70% of the normal distributing system. In addition to their own tuna and yellowtail, other naturally-caught fish is procured through their own distribution system every week from Tsukiji and various Kyushu areas, and overall, 80 to 90% of their fish is from Japan. The rich variety on the menu that includes not only sushi and sashimi, but also hot grilled, fried, and BBQed dishes, and cold dishes such as tartar, carpaccio, etc., allows you to enjoy the goodness of seafood fully. 30 brands of Japanese sake are strictly selected with the view of “best pairing with the seafood” in mind. From the end of November, they started to serve lunch, and the items such as seafood bowls, chirashi sushi, unagi bowls, etc., are served with reasonable pricing.

“There is no other country but Japan in which such high-quality seafood can be caught naturally or cultivated. I would like to spread the splendidness of Japanese seafood culture from New York, which can be called the Capital of the world,“ says Mr. Sakamoto as his reason to have chosen New York as the base for the company’s first overseas development. While popularity of sushi and sashimi grows bigger, fish consuming population seems to grow every year by one hundred million globally. “I am surprised that customers’ fish consumption is much larger than I originally expected. I feel that we must set our future prospects by looking at the world from now on,” continued Mr. Sakamoto. At “WOKUNI”, most of their customers are local Americans. After the grand opening,they have been making adjustments in the details of the menu structure, food volume, presentation, tastes, etc. according to the customers’ reactions. Their American customers are speaking highly about the restaurant, saying “It is a place where you can eat high-quality sushi and sashimi at reasonable prices”.

In the future, he wants to expand not only the restaurant business, but the company’s own brand of tuna and yellowtail wholesale business, basing WOKUNI. They keep challenging the world as a general fisheries company. He is very enthusiastic about becoming the base of spreading Japanese food culture itself, not to mention seafood.


日本の高品質な鮮魚を世界に向けて発信

長崎の自社漁場から直送する鮮魚を提供する画期的な店『WOKUNI』(うおくに)が、2017年10月末、ミッドタウンに登場して話題になっている。

「新鮮な魚を食する日本の食文化を世界に広めたい」と語るのは『東京一番フーズ』(東証一部上場企業)の代表取締役社長、坂本大地氏。同社は、1996年に、ふぐ料理専門店『とらふぐ亭』を東京・新宿に開店して以来、現在では、関東地方中心に『とらふぐ亭』や『魚王KUNI』など、魚介料理を強みにしたレストラン約50 店舗を展開している。同社では「こだわりの食材を手頃な価格で提供したい」という理念を持ち、2011年に自社漁場に着手。魚類の生産、加工、販売まで一貫して手がける日本唯一の外食産業だ。

同社の海外初進出店となる『WOKUNI』の目玉は、なんと言っても、自社ブランドのマグロとブリだ。自社漁場は、長崎県平戸市最高峰の安満岳の清流と対馬海流が流れ込む、自然の恵み豊かな入り江に位置している。稚魚の乱獲をせずに50 キロ以上になるまで大きく育てるなど、環境にも配慮したサステナブルな養殖方法を採用。そして、人も食べられる鮮度のイワシやサバを餌として与え、品質管理を徹底している。魚臭を苦手に感じる米国人顧客を意識して、餌を工夫して、魚臭が少ないマグロやブリを生産していることにも驚かされる。一番のこだわりは鮮度だ。通常、市場を介して流通した場合、約5 日かかるところ、自社ルートで漁場からレストランへ直送するため、たった48 時間で到着するという。一切冷凍せずに直送するため、品Interior Exterior質や味の点でも引けを取らない。自社漁場で生産するので安定供給も可能で、市場を介さず自社流通するため価格も約60 〜70%に抑えられる。このマグロとブリ以外にも、独自の流通ルートを通して、築地市場や九州各地から天然魚を毎週取り寄せており、店全体で使う魚介類の8 〜9 割が日本産だ。メニューは、寿司や刺身はもちろんのこと、焼き物、揚げ物、串焼きなどの温菜から、タルタルやカルパッチョなどの冷菜まで豊富に揃い、魚介類の魅力を味わい尽くすことができる。日本酒は“ 魚と合わせて美味しい”という観点で厳選し約30種類用意している。11 月末からはランチもスタート、海鮮丼やちらし寿司、ウナギ丼などを手頃な価格で提供している。

「天然も養殖も、これだけ高品質な魚介類が捕れる国は、日本以外にない。世界の食の首都とも言えるニューヨーク、世界中から多くの人が集まるニューヨークから、日本の魚介類のすばらしさを発信していきたい」と、坂本氏は海外初の拠点をニューヨークに定めた理由を語る。寿司や刺身の人気が高まる中、世界的に見て、魚食人口は毎年1 億人ずつ増えていると言われている。「お客様が魚を食べる量が、当初予想していたよりもはるかに多くて驚いている。これからは世界を見据えていかないといけない」と坂本氏。同店では、顧客のほとんどが地元米国人。グランドオープニング後は、顧客の反応を見ながら、メニュー構成や、ボリュームや盛り付け方、味付けなど、細かい点で見直しをかけているという。米国人客からも「高品質な寿司や刺身をリーズナブルに食べることができる」と好評だ。

今後はこの『WOKUNI』を拠点に、レストラン事業だけでなく、自社ブランドのマグロやブリの卸売り事業を広げていきたいと考えている。“ 総合水産企業”として、世界へ挑戦し続けている。魚介類はもちろんのこと、日本食文化そのものの発信拠点にもなりたいと意欲的だ。



WOKUNI
325 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10016
(212) 447-1212
http://wokuninyc.com
Dinner Mon.-Fri. 5:00pm-10:30pm
Lunch Mon.Fri.11:30am-2:45pm
Sunday Closed
#alljapannews #wokuni #NY #restaurant #seafood #sashimi #sushi #Japanese

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Shibumi Oita Fair held at a trendy kaiseki cuisine restaurant

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By Keiko Fukuda

It was right after their 2016 opening when the restaurant became the talk of the town as a “Japanese restaurant in downtown, to which people pay a lot of attention”. They won second place in the “101 Best Restaurants 2016” by Jonathan Gold. It is “Shibumi”. David Schlosser is the owner/chef there.

The first time I visited Shibumi was in September of 2016 when a JETRO event was held with David’s skillful cooking, using produce from the Oita prefecture. The restaurant is located in the Midtown district of Los Angeles where a lot of renovation is going on, and it is located at a corner of a building which does not have any visible sign. The impression I got from such a location and its appearance is that this place is like a hide-out which is supported by customers who visit just to taste his cooking. However, as mentioned before, David’s skills
which developed through experiences through working in Kyoto, etc., have been highly claimed, and so exposed on many media outlets, that he cannot just stay hidden quietly.

David was born in Santa Monica, California. He explained how he became interested in Japanese cuisine as follows: “There are many people in California who basically are health conscious, and I also have been leading a lifestyle with a very healthy eating habit. While I was traveling around Asian countries in 2000, I visited Japan, which gave me a strong impression, and Japan became a special place for me. I was touched by the people I met, Zen, and the foods of Japan.” He was a chef of French cuisine. He accumulated his experiences in Japanese cuisine in Tokyo and Kyoto, and then worked in a famous Japanese restaurant in LA after returning to the US. In July of 2016, he opened the long-awaited Shibumi restaurant.

“For Americans, Japanese cuisine is no longer something rare. However, to me, focusing on sushi for example, Japanese cuisine served in the US has been transformed to suit Americans’ tastes. I opened this restaurant hoping to offer true authentic Japanese cuisine to Americans. Therefore, I dare not serve sushi, and set up menu items that are non-fusion and have real Japanese tastes loved by the people of Japan.” The realization of Oita’s produce event in the fall of 2016 was led by his hope to deliver genuine items to America, which met the purpose of JETRO to deliver more Japanese ingredients to the American market. Then, in December of 2017, another Oita Fair was held at Shibumi, which lasted 10 days. At this Fair, a special menu – an original recipe created by David using Bungo-gyu (beef) sent directly from the Oita prefecture, yellowtail, and shiitake mushrooms was offered to the customers for tasting. The menu, which is a realization of the collaboration of Oita ingredients and David, had 2 courses, one for $75, and the other for $40, which included salt-grilled Bungo beef with yuzu pepper, yellowtail tataki with kabosu citrus sauce, and miso soup with sweet potato/shiitake balls.

David commented on the Oitamade food ingredients at the Fair as follows: “I was able to produce a very rich and deep taste thanks to the dried shiitake mushrooms I used with konbu for dashi of the miso soup. Bungo beef is considered to be in between Miyazaki beef, which is known for its light-tasting fat, and Kobe beef, which is well-balanced with fat. Bungo beef is relatively not as well-known as the other two in the US, and it will require some effort to make it more known here in the future. The characteristic of the yellowtail is its simple taste.”

Personally, I was most impressed with the miso soup with shiitake mushrooms. It reminded me of Dango-jiru, an Oita local favorite, which has a comforting taste that heals your body and soul. I freshly felt astonished and touched again to know that such very profound Japanese cuisine was being made by an American without showing any deliberate eccentricity. The Oitamade yuzu-kosho (pepper) served with the Bungo beef exquisitely brought out the umami of the meat. A special freshtasting cocktail made with Oita shochu brand “Ichiko” with kabosu juice was also served there.

Based on the success of the 2017 Oita Fair, David is looking forward to and is enthusiastic about a 2018 Oita Fair, saying “I would like to present a recipe using Sekiaji, Sekisaba, and again Bungo beef next time”. I heard that he is also planning to go to Oita to visit production sites before the next Fair.


話題の懐石料理店で大分フェア開催

その店が「ダウンタウンにある注目の日本食レストラン」として話題になったのは、2016年にオープンして間もなくのことだった。ジョナサン・ゴールドが選んだ「101Best restaurants 2016」では第2 位に選出された、デビッド・シュロッサーさんがオーナーシェフを務める渋味だ。

最初に訪れたのは、大分県の物産を使ってデビッドさんが腕を振るったJETRO のイベントが開催された2016 年9月。再開発が進むロサンゼルスのダウンタウン地区にあり、ビルの一角にある同店には目立つ看板も掲げられていない。ロケーションといい、外観といい、料理を目当てに訪れる客によって支持されている隠れ家的な店だという印象だ。しかし、前述のように、京都でも料理人経験があるデビッドさんの手腕が評価され、ひっそりと隠れているわけにはいかないほどに多くのメディアで取り上げられてきた。

デビッドさんはカリフォルニアのサンタモニカ生まれ。日本料理に興味を持ったきっかけを次のように語る。「カリフォルニアにはもともと健康志向の人が多く、私自身も非常に健康的な食生活を送ってきました。2000 年にアジア各地を旅行した時に、日本に立ち寄り、私にとっては特別な場所だという強い印象を持ちました。特に、日本で巡り会った人々、禅、そして食に深い感銘を受けました」

もともとフランス料理のシェフだったデビッドさんは、東京や京都で日本食の経験を積み、アメリカに戻ってからもロサンゼルスの有名な日本食レストランで料理人を務めた。そして2016年6月、満を持して渋味を開店した。

「アメリカ人にとって日本料理はすでに珍しいものではありません。しかし、寿司を中心に、アメリカで出されている日本料理はアメリカ人の舌に合うように変容したものになっていると思います。私は本来のオーセンティックな日本料理をアメリカ人に提供したいという思いで店を開けました。ですから、あえて寿司は出さず、フュージョンではない、日本人に愛されているリアルテイストの日本食をメニューに並べています」 本物をアメリカで届けたいという思いが、日本産の食材をよりアメリカ市場へというJETRO の目的と合致し、2016 年秋の大分県の物産のイベント開催につながった。そして、2017年12月には10日にわたり、渋味で大分フェアが改めて開催された。これは、大分県から直送された豊後牛。ハマチ、シイタケを使って、デビッドさんがオリジナルレシピを考案し、テイスティングメニューとして顧客に提供するという内容。75 ドルと40 ドルの2種類のメニューが用意され、塩でグリルされた豊後牛の柚子胡椒添えやハマチのタタキのカボスソース、またシイタケが入ったさつまいもの饅頭の味噌汁をはじめ、大分の食材とデビッドさんのコラボレーションが実現した。

同フェアで取り上げた大分県産の食材について、デビッドさんは「味噌汁の出汁に昆布と共に使った干しシイタケのおかげで非常に豊かで深い味を出せました。豊後牛は、さっぱりした脂が持ち味の宮崎牛と脂が乗っている神戸牛との中間に位置します。神戸牛や宮崎牛に比べてまだまだアメリカでは知名度がないので、今後、知らせるための努力が必要ですね。ハマチはシンプルな味が特徴」と評価した。

個人的に最も印象に残ったのはシイタケを使った味噌汁。大分の郷土料理、団子汁を思わせる、心も身体も癒されるホッとする味だった。奇をてらうことなく、非常に奥深さを感じさせる日本食がアメリカ人によって作られていることに、改めて驚きと感動を覚えた。

また、豊後牛に添えられた柚子胡椒も大分県産。肉の旨みを絶妙に引き立てていた。大分県の焼酎ブランド、「いいちこ」をカボス果汁で割った、爽やかな特製カクテルも振る舞われた。

デビッドさんは、2017 年の大分フェアを踏まえて、2018 年にも「今度は関アジ、関サバ、そして再び豊後牛を使ったレシピを提供したい」と再度の開催に意欲を見せている。その前に生産現場の視察を目的に、大分県を訪問する計画も持ち上がっているとのことだ。



Shibumi
815 S. Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA 90014
(323) 484-8915
http://www.shibumidtla.com/
Tue.-Sun. 6:00pm-10:30pm
Monday Closed
#alljapannews #sushi #kaiseki #shibumi #LA #restaurant

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Fermented foods attract attention due to health-consciousness boom

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Fermented foods attract attenti... Fermented foods attract attenti... Fermented foods attract attenti... Fermented foods attract attenti... Fermented foods attract attenti...
By Elli Sekine

“AEDAN”’ tent shop in the Saturday Farmer’s Market held in the very popular Ferry Building in San Francisco, which sells fermented foods such as miso and koji that are not sold at any other shops, is attracting attention. “Miso” and “Koji”, which are the typical products in San Francisco’s unprecedented fermented food boom, have been adapted in menus by America’s top chefs. Lately, you even see the word “Koji” in some restaurant menus. Like setting fire on such a boom, Aedan Fermented Foods, a manufacturer of all hand-made miso and koji-- indispensable ingredients from ancient Japan-- is creating a movement.

The founder, Mariko Gledy, launched this business initially to donate the profit from the sales of hand-made miso to her friends to 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake victims, thinking what she could do to help from the US. “Before that time, I was making miso for my own family. I got an idea of selling it to my friends so I can donate the money from the sales,” says Mariko. She started to make miso at home to inherit a Japanese tradition to her children. “I felt the great power of miso once again when I learned that you can basically survive for a few days with only miso and water.” As she was studying further on miso and koji for the future business opportunity, she felt a strong hope for conveying this wisdom of Japan to as many people as possible, especially to American children who are responsible for the next generation. This hope of her is reflected on the company name, Aedan (wisdom transmission), and has also become the The founder, Mariko Gledy, launched this business initially to donate the profit from the sales of hand-made miso to her friends for the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake victims, thinking of what she could do to help from the US. “Before that time, I was making miso for my own family. I got the idea of selling it to my friends so I can donate the money from the sales,” says Mariko. She started to make miso at home to pass on a Japanese tradition to her children. “I felt the great power of miso once again when I learned that you can basically survive for a few days with only miso and water.” As she was studying further about miso and koji for the future business opportunity, she felt a strong hope for conveying this wisdom of Japan to as many people as possible, especially to American children who are responsible for the next generation. This hope of hers is reflected on the company name, Aedan (wisdom transmission), and has also become the company mission as well.

In the following year, 2012, the company started a full-fledged sales activity by joining an incubation kitchen, “La Cocina”, which supports female and minorities to start businesses. From then on, the variety of merchandise production and the business structure continued to expand by receiving business advice and support from La Concina. The company steadily gained more recognition through catering of cuisines using house-made fermented condiments, and workshops, lectures, etc.

In 2016, she founded an LLC, and in the same year, the company acquired a regular presence in the Saturday Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, which every small business owner in the food industry dreams of. In the tent of the Farmer’s Market, miso soup, amazake ($3 each), and Hakkoh Bento (Fermented lunch box, $15) using miso and koji, etc. are sold in order to let people who do not yet know about miso learn about its attractive benefits. Aedan manufactures and sells 4 kinds of miso, shiokoji, amazake-based marinade called Sagohachi, and amazake, all made with organic soy beans and/or rice ($10 each). They also sell chickpea miso made uniquely with chickpeas instead of soy beans. Their locally-made miso goes through no fermentation-stopping process such as heating, and thus the koji enzyme stays alive, and helps create a deeper taste as it ages. The amazake completed by the Vitamix machine is so smooth, creamy and rich, and gaining popularity for its uniquely profound taste. Not only do they sell, but they also carry out to let people know the delicious ways to eat miso and koji. The Shiokoji kit ($20) that contains mixed raw koji and salt, is popular among travelers because it is easy to carry around under natural temperatures.

Japanese cuisine has well settled into the local scenes lately, and more and more Americans even know what koji or shiokoji are, not to mention what miso is. Helped by such a background, wholesale orders are increasing from long-established San Franciscan grocers such as Rainbow Grocery and Bi-Rite Market, and also from restaurants. The catering menu that includes omelet cooked with amazake, tofu dengaku marinated in shiokoji, koji pickles, etc. is well received, and orders have also increased year after year for its simple yet deep tasting selection of items. Their Washoku Lunch menu which is gentle to your body, is also becoming an important part even for many Americans.

Mariko continues, “My goal is to have everybody make miso at home. Different miso for each family!” In order to achieve this goal of miso making and eating at every household, she is diligently putting efforts in miso making workshops and classes called “Terakoya Aedan”. She is expanding such activities to teach American citizens Japanese traditional food cultures by also having lectures at some museums and health-conscious specialty stores.

The number of fans of Aedan Fermented Foods has grown in the past 6 years due to its diligent efforts in conveying the good benefits of miso and koji. Now Mariko is planning to take a new step. At this point, there is no store fixture, but she is hoping to open a “Miso Café”, which would be a store with a café space.

There, she wants not only to sell miso and koji and serve miso soup and dishes, but also to have a space for miso-making workshops and cooking classes. Such days when you can enjoy body-friendly foods at a San Francisco’s very first fermented foods specialty café may come soon.


健康志向ブームで注目を浴びる発酵食品

サンフランシスコ最大のファーマーズマーケット、フェリープラザの土曜日に出店している味噌や麹などの発酵食品を売る「Aedan」が注目を集めている。

この2、3 年の発酵食品ブームを背景に、家庭の主婦からシェフまで買付が急増し、最近ではレストランのメニューで「koji」の字を時々見かける。日本古来から欠かせないものであった伝統の発酵食品を全て手作りで生産する会社、Aedan Fermented Foods ( 叡伝) が、ムーブメントを起こしている。

創設者の摩利子グレディ氏は、2011年の東日本大震災時、被災地のためにアメリカで何が出来るかを考えた時、味噌を作って、その売り上げを寄付したいとこのビジネスを立ち上げた。「それまでは家族の為に作っていました。その味噌を友人に買ってもらって、売り上げを寄付することを思いついたんです」と摩利子氏。味噌を家で作り始めたきっかけは、アメリカでも子供達に日本の伝統食文化を継承したいという思いからだ。「基本的に味噌と水があれば人間は数日生きていけることを知り、味噌の力のすごさを改めて感じたんです」。販売するにあたって味噌や麹についてさらに探求するうち、この日本の叡智を次の世代を担うアメリカの子供達、もっと多くの人々に伝えていきたいという気持ちが強くなったという。その想いは社名の「叡伝」に表され、会社のミッションになっている。

翌2012 年には、女性やマイノリティの起業を支援するインキュベーションキッチン、「ラ・コシーナ」に加わり、本格的な販売へと乗り出した。そこからラ・コシーナのビジネスアドバイスとサポートを受けながら商品の生産の種類、ビジネス形態も拡張した。例えば自家製発酵調味料を使った料理のケータリングや、ワークショップ、レクチャーなどを通じて地道に認知度を上げてきた。

2016年にはLLCを設立した。同年、食関係のスモールビジネスのオーナーなら誰でもあこがれる、土曜日のフェリービルディングファーマーズマーケットのレギュラー出店を獲得した。このテントでは、まだ味噌に馴染みがない人たちにもその魅力を伝えるため、味噌汁や甘酒(1杯$3)、味噌や塩麹などを使った発酵弁当($15) なども販売している。現在叡伝ではオーガニックの大豆と米を使い4種類の味噌に塩麹、Sagohachi という甘酒ベースの漬床や甘酒(各$10)を製造販売している。ユニークなものでは大豆の代わりにひよこ豆を使ったChickpea Miso がある。地元で作っているため、加熱処理など発酵を止める処理をしていない味噌は、麹の酵素が生きており、熟成が進むほどに深い味わいになる。バイタミックスでなめらかに仕上げられた甘酒はクリーミーで濃厚と評判がよい。Aedan では、売る為だけではなく、味噌と麹の美味しい食べ方を人々に伝えるのが信条だ。

近年では日本食人気が定着し、味噌はもちろん、麹の認知度がアメリカ人に広がり、レインボーグローサリーやバイライトマーケットなど、サンフランシスコの老舗食料品店、レストラン、ケータリングの注文も増えている。年々増えているケータリングの内容は、甘酒を使った卵焼きや塩麹に漬け込んだ豆腐の田楽、麹のピクルスなどシンプルだが奥深い味わいのメニューが好評だ。体に優しい和食ランチはアメリカ人にとっても貴重な存在になっている。

さらに摩利子氏は、「目標はみんなに家で味噌を手作りしてもらうこと。一家に一味噌!」と、人々にそれぞれの家で味噌を仕込み使えるよう、味噌作りのワークショップ、「寺子屋叡伝」にも力を入れている。また、美術館や健康思考のスペシャリティストアに出向き講義も行うなど、活動を広げながら日本の伝統的食文化をアメリカ市民に教導している。

6 年かけて地道に味噌と麹の魅力を伝えてきた「叡伝」にはファンも増え、同司は次のステップをもくろんでいる。現在のところまだ固定店舗はないが、今後の展望はカフェを併設した“味噌カフェ” をオープンすることだという。味噌や麹の販売はもちろん、味噌汁や料理を提供するのみでなく、味噌作りワークショップ、料理教室も開催できるスペースを備えたいという。サンフランシスコ初の発酵食品スペシャリティーカフェで体に優しい食事を楽しめる日も近いかもしれない。

Aedan Fermented Foods: http://aedansf.com/
#alljapannews #SF #Aedan #miso #koji #Japanese #cuisine #shiokoji

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Four Key Points of Selling and Developing Sake

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By Yuji Matsumoto

Many of those involved in sake tend to prefer to use vague and mysterious expressions. It seems as if they dislike saying anything definitive about a product’s characteristics. However, in order to sell specific sake in a market full of many options (including wine and beer), sake makers need to have a more focused development and sales effort. This can be said about both the manufacturers and the sellers. If a sake is just “good for anyone” or “goes with everything” it just won’t stand out.

Think of it as a description of a person who wants a serious relationship with you. If you really like the person, saying “he/she is a very nice person” is simply rude.

Dealing with many consumers on a daily basis making proposals on sake, I realize that there are requisite key points. Going over these points alone makes the conversation a success. Roughly speaking, there are four points. The first is aroma. Explain the strength of the product’s aroma (gorgeous or tender) and its characteristics (fruity, floral, alcohol).

The second is body. Explain the product’s sweetness, acid taste, bitterness, and also how it goes down one’s throat.

The third is food pairing. Select the absolute best dish for it. Don’t explain too much, just say it simply: “No other sake goes better with salmon sashimi!”

The fourth is temperature. Explain which temperature setting is best for the product: room temperature, hot, or cold?

Sake manufacturers need to be aware of these points as well. Have a clear vision when developing a product, such as where your target market is, and what you want it to do. “I want my sake to pair with beef steaks like no red wines can” is a good example. And make sure you convey the message in your marketing effort.

Also make sure that these four points are mentioned in your menus, and stressed in your staff training sessions.


日本酒を売る・開発する4つのポイント

多くの日本酒に携わっている人たちは、あいまいな微妙で神秘的な表現が好きだ。商品の特徴を特定したり、断言することを嫌うように感じられる。しかし、多くの選択肢(ワイン、ビールも含めた)から特定の日本酒を選んで売るためには、ある程度特定した市場に対してその商品を開発したり、提案する必要がある。これは造り手も販売者も同じだ。万人にうける商品や何にでも合うものは、あってもいいが説得力がない。

あの人は、どいういう人、と聞かれ「とてもいい人です」では、真剣に交際をしようとしている人に失礼なのと同じだ。

多くの消費者と日々接し、日本酒について提案しているとやはりセールストークには “落としどころ” というものがある。ここのポイントだけを抑えていれば大体は納得してもらえるものというツボだ。大きく分けると大体4つに集約される。

一つ目は、香りだ。まずは強弱(華やかかおとなしい)と特徴(果実、花、アルコール臭など)を伝える。

二つ目は、ボディー。甘さ、酸味、苦味以外にドライ感などのど越しの感覚を伝える。

三つ目は、食事との相性。ここではこれなら絶対負けない一番の料理を選ぶ。あれこれ言うとポイントがぼけるので、ずばり「サーモン刺身ならうちの酒に敵うものなし!」ぐらいがいい。

四つ目は、温度帯。なぜこの酒は冷(常温)、燗、冷酒が向いているのか?を理解してもらう。

これは、販売者だけに限らず、生産者も商品を開発する際に重要な点である。しっかりとしたビジョンで開発し、これならこの市場、たとえばビーフステーキ料理ならどの赤ワインにも負けない、くらいの日本酒がほしいものだ。そしてそれを伝えるきちんとしたマーケティング資料や商品パンフレットの文面に記載するべきである。

また、この4ポイントをメニューの中に生かしたり、従業員トレーニングにも生かしていただきたい。
#alljapannews #keypoints #selling #sake

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