-- Culinary Culture Expert --
Born in Tokyo in 1967, I studied French, Chinese and Italian cuisine extensively for ten years before beginning my career as a Japanese culinary expert in 2002.
As a culinary culture expert I create simple recipes for people of all culinary levels.
Through my recipes, I hope to inspire people to savour and enjoy the time they spend preparing and eating food. I also hope to reveal the rich diversity and importance of food within the Japanese culture.
There are three main approaches I use when creating recipes. As a tourist ambassador for Nara, I am constantly exposed to new traditional dishes upon which I base my some of own recipes.
I also recreate familiar Japanese dishes in new and unique ways to show the flexibility of Japanese cuisine. Finally, I design recipes which highlight the flavour, texture, smell, taste and look of a particular ingredient or product.
Food is essential to life. However it's when we take the time to prepare our meals, and share our dining experiences with friends and family that food enriches our lives.
The amount of time people spend on cooking is shrinking as the pace of modern life, and the pressure to do more in less time, increases. Work, family, study, hobbies, movies to see, books to read, friends to catch up - there are many demands on people's time. With fast food outlets and 24 hour convenient stores, in which premade dinners or lunchboxes can be ready in 10 minutes, it's easy to rush meals.
However, whilst it's important to acknowledge competing demands for people's time, it's equally important to remind people of the joy and rewards of preparing and sharing their own meals.
I try to balance this tension by creating simple recipes that are easy and enjoyable to prepare. After all, not every meal needs to be a 2 hour masterpiece to be rewarding.
I'm interested in creating recipes for all kinds of people - not only people who love to cook but also busy housewives, young children and business men who have never cooked a meal in their life. It's important for everyone to understand how to cook, and both the nutritional and spiritual fulfillment cooking and sharing meals brings.
I encourage people to use my recipes as a guide from which people can expand, and add their own tastes and ideas. In this way, the meal truly becomes their own.
I also create recipes using new or seasonal foods, or create dishes that highlight the flavor, texture, smell and taste of a particular product or ingredient. Sometimes, my recipes are explorations in new ways to cook existing dishes.
Choosing the right ingredients and knowing how to cook is obviously important however it's also just as important to create the right atmosphere when dining, and to dine with others. So I whilst I focus on the ingredients and recipe, I also focus on the setting in which food is eaten, such as how the table is set, the music and the decor.
Food is everywhere in our culture. Through my writing and photographs, and how I talk about food at conferences and on television shows I try to highlight this. Food is not just in the restaurants, it's also in the music we listen to, the art we see and the movies we watch. We use it to celebrate, commiserate and ultimately as a means to become closer to one another.
Through my recipes and my work, I try to express my passion for food. In doing so, I hope to inspire others to take the time to enjoy their dining and food as much as I do.