Kikkoman Washoku Initiative Part 2: In Praise of Japanese Cuisine
In September 2014, Kikkoman sponsored a panel discussion in Tokyo titled "Praising the Appeal of Japanese Cuisine: Washoku is Wonderful! Part 2" with four young chefs of Japanese cuisine. These same chefs participated in a washoku panel discussion last year, and included Mr. Takuji Takahashi of Kinobu; Mr. Hisato Nakahigashi of Miyamasou; Mr. Yoshihiro Takahashi of Hyotei; and Mr. Naoyuki Yanagihara of Kinsa-ryu Yanagihara School of Traditional Japanese Cuisine. Their lively discussion was led by coordinator Mr. Hitoshi Kakizawa, who also moderated last year's event. An attentive audience of over 300 attended.
As washoku Japanese cuisine continues to gain attention around the world, the number of Japanese restaurants worldwide is increasing steadily. This growth has been fueled by the greater availability and stable quality of Japanese ingredients, thanks to an improved, reliable global food distribution system. The quality of overseas washoku continues to advance as more people enjoy it.
Kikkoman's panel discussion provided a forum for these young chefs to discuss the appeal of washoku from an international point of view. Based on both international and domestic experiences, the panelists examined the appeal of washoku from the viewpoint of a chef. Some of the points they covered included techniques for cutting ingredients into various shapes according to type of dish; the importance of the freshness of fish and how to handle it; and, in the final visual presentation of washoku dishes, how to achieve the apparent effortlessness that belies the labor-intensive preparations behind this complex cuisine. The appeal of washoku was another point of discussion, and the chefs touched upon its "various fresh ingredients, its use of natural tastes," and its "emphasis on the beauty of nature in presentation." These points were also noted by UNESCO in its designation of "washoku traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese" as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. This discussion, with its global point of view, provided an excellent opportunity for those in the audience to rediscover and more fully appreciate the appeal of their country's traditional cuisine.
Kikkoman is committed to promoting the international exchange of food cultures as part of its management philosophy. Through activities like this one, the company supports the tradition of Japanese food culture by communicating its appeal both domestically and internationally, and so contributes to a richer global food culture.