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Japan Eats!

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Japan Eats!

Heritage Radio Network

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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!
 
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Our guest is Matthieu Guerpillon, the Marketing Manager & Brand Ambassador of NAMI, the first sake brewery in Mexico. Japanese sake has been produced outside of Japan in recent years, and it is very exciting to see that there is a sake brewery in Mexico, which is the home of excellent beer and spirits such as tequila and mezcal! NAMI is not just th…
 
Our guest today is Ryo Iwamoto, who is the founder and CEO of TeaRoom based in Tokyo. Ryo began studying tea 15 years ago at the age of 9 and now he is a certified instructor of the Japanese tea ceremony. He even has a special name that is only given to outstanding tea practitioners. Ryo founded TeaRoom in 2018 while he was still a student at the p…
 
Our guests today are John Daschbach, the director of the fantastic new documentary film Come Back Anytime, and Wataru Yamamoto, the producer of the film. Our mutual friend Yukari Sakamoto, who is an influential food specialist based in Tokyo, introduced me to the new film Come Back Anytime, or mata irasshai (またいらっしゃい) in Japanese. It premiered at D…
 
Our guest today is Kou Sundburg, who is the founder of Kiraku. Kiraku operates multiple projects that aim to preserve Japan’s rich cultural and natural heritage for future generations. Kou has a strong business background with a unique bi-cultural vantage point of the Japanese tradition. Kou’s diverse projects include transforming abandoned machiya…
 
Our guest is Takatsugu 'Taka' Amano who is the co-Founder and CEO of American Shochu Company based in Silver Spring, Maryland. Shochu is a traditional Japanese spirit and it is more popular than Japanese sake in Japan. If you compare sake and shochu, 4.2% of liquor tax comes from premium sake, whereas 14.8% comes from shochu, according to the Japan…
 
Our guest is Nobu Yamanashi, the director of Yama Seafood. Founded in 1980 by his father Kengo Yamanashi, Yama Seafood has been one of the most reliable sources of high-quality seafood in the U.S. for over 40 years. Thanks to superior suppliers like Yama Seafood, our diet has shifted dramatically towards fresh seafood like sushi in the last decades…
 
Our guests are Mark Isbell and Chris Isbell of Isbell Farms in Arkansas. Isbell Farms has always been forward-minded and played an important role as a strong supporter of the American sake industry. It is a multi-generational family farm with a focus on the sustainable production of quality rice. And also, Isbell is the first American farm that pro…
 
Our guest is Christopher Horton who is the executive chef at Sanrokunana (367) in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. After graduating from the New England Culinary Institute, Chris worked at notable establishments, including Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C., Andaz Hotel Tokyo, and INUA in Tokyo, which was one of Asia’s 50 Best restaurants. Nagano…
 
Our guest is Masamitsu Ishibashi who is the president and CEO of Misaki Megumi Suisan based in Japan. Founded in 1986, the company has been focused on processing and sales of fresh seafood, in particular tuna. Tuna, or Maguro in Japanese, is one of the most popular fish among sushi lovers. Not only does the fish have a very special place in Japanes…
 
My guests are Tim Sullivan & John Puma, who are the hosts of the Sake Revolution podcast. The Sake Revolution podcast started in January 2020 and each episode is so informative and so much fun that I have never missed an episode of the show. Tim is a sake expert and the founder of Urban Sake. He is also an honorable Sake Samurai as well. It is a ti…
 
Our guest is Jake Myrick who is the co-owner and toji, or brewmaster, of Sequoia Sake in San Francisco, which was founded in 2015. It is the first local artisanal sake brewery in the city. In 2019, only 4 years after their first production of sake, the brewery received both the gold and silver awards for best sake produced outside of Japan at the T…
 
Our guest today is Marie Akizawa, the 6th generation rice merchant Yamadaya Honten in Tokyo, which was founded in 1905. Rice is a quintessential food in Japanese culture since it started to be produced 3,000 years ago in the country. Japanese people enjoy plain rice like the best part of the meal. Also, Japanese chefs are crazy about their choice o…
 
Our guest is Tetsuya Yamashita, the only non-French garçon, or waiter, at Café de Flore in Paris. Café de Flore is one of the most iconic cafes in France. Garçon in France is different from a waiter in the US and Tetsuya exemplifies the difference in his outstanding style of service. To prove how distinctive he is, Tetsuya has been patronized by ma…
 
Our guest is Austin Power who has been in the sake industry for the last 17 years as a sake sommelier and kikizakeshi, or a certified sake professional. Austin joined us in Episode 164 and discussed his fascinating experience at Sake Bar Satsuko in the East Village for the first 10 years of his career. Also, he shared his ideas of serving Japanese …
 
Our guest is Tetsuro Miyazaki, who is the General Manager at IICHIKO USA. iichiko is one of the most well-known shochu brands in Japan and abroad. The company was founded in 1958 and specializes in barley-based shochu products, which reflects the natural environment of Oita Prefecture in the south of Japan. iichiko shochu’s nickname is ""Downtown N…
 
Our guest is Yoshi Tezuka, the 4th generation sushi chef at Matsunozushi in Tokyo, which was founded in 1910. Yoshi is not just a great sushi chef, but also a global thinker. Before he became a sushi chef, Yoshi spent years abroad as a professional ski guide as well as a backpacker and traveled to over 50 countries. Now he cooks for a global audien…
 
Our guest is Jon Broida who is the owner of Japanese Knife Imports based in California. Before Jon founded Japanese Knife Imports in 2010, he had a successful career as a fine-dining chef and great knives were essential for his job. He got so into Japanese knives that eventually he started the company and now offers outstanding products along with …
 
Our guest is Philip Harper, the brewmaster and managing director of Kinoshita Shuzo in Kyoto, which was founded in 1842. Philip has been working in the sake industry for the last 30 years. In 2007, he became the very first non-Japanese brewmaster at Kinoshita Shuzo. Nowadays there are more non-Japanese workers in the sake industry but back then, it…
 
Our guest is Don Mei who is the Director of Mei Leaf, an awesome tea company based in London. Don also has a wonderful YouTube Channel called “Mei Leaf”, which has 80,000 subscribers. His videos are extremely educational and uniquely fun based on his extensive knowledge of both Chinese and Japanese tea. His global and analytical perspective helps v…
 
Our guest is Kazumasa Nishikawa who is the 4th generation head master of the Nishikawa school of Japanese dancing, which has a history of 170 years. He is a dancer, producer, and director, creating numerous performances, teaching at 4 colleges. He is also a manager of the Nihon Odori Sports Science, a health program from the perspective of Japanese…
 
Our guest is Winifred Bird who is a writer, translator, lifelong cook, and lover of plants, based in northern Illinois. Winnie recently published a fabulous book called “Eating Wild Japan - Tracking the Culture of Foraged Foods, with a Guide to Plants and Recipes” from Stone Bridge Press. When we talk about Japanese cuisine, we tend to think of dis…
 
Our guest is Yarrow Lazer-Smith, a.k.a. Yarrow Slaps who is a visual artist and hip-hop musician as well as the co-director of SWIM Gallery in San Francisco. Yarrow recently published “Ramen Forever – An Artist’s Guide to Ramen”. There are many ramen-themed books, but this is definitely one the most intriguing and cool ones you can find. It is pack…
 
Our guest is Hannah Kirshner who is the author of “WATER, WOOD, AND WILD THINGS”, which just came out on March 23, 2021 from Viking. Hannah has a lot of intriguing experiences in Japan. For example, she has worked as a bartender and as well as a kurabito, or sake brewer’s assistant, in the beautiful rural area of Ishikawa Prefecture called Yamanaka…
 
Our guest is Brian Ashcraft who is a senior writer for the video gaming site Kotaku and a columnist for The Japan Times. He is also the author of the 6 fascinating books including: The Japanese Sake Bible, Japanese Whisky, Japanese Tattoos and Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool. Brian has lived in Osaka since 200…
 
Our guest is Merry White who is the author of Coffee Life in Japan, an absolutely insightful and fascinating book about Japanese coffee as well as unique Japanese culture and society. Merry also teaches courses on various topics including Japan, food anthropology, and urban anthropology at Boston University. Japanese people started drinking coffee …
 
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 b…
 
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 ma…
 
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 hist…
 
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 cook…
 
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 At…
 
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, whic…
 
Our guest is Marcus Consolini who is the CEO of Daimon Shuzo, a sake brewery in Osaka that was founded in 1826. It is extremely rare to find non-Japanese management at a traditional sake brewery like Daimon. In this episode, we will discuss Marcus' unique background, why and how he decided to manage the authentic sake brewery, what changes he has m…
 
"Our guest is Lucy Seligman who is the author of the fabulous cookbook “The Wonderful World of Osechi: Japanese New Year’s Recipes”. New Year is a huge deal for Japanese people. It is foremost the biggest holiday of the year, which is an equivalent of Thanksgiving and Christmas combined in terms of the cultural importance. There are many kinds of s…
 
Our guests are Shuso Imada, general manager of the Japan Sake & Shochu Information Center and Sebastien Lemoine, co-host of the fantastic podcast Sake On Air. The Japan Sake & Shochu Information Center and Sake On Air jointly organized the fascinating online event Sake Future Summit 2020, which was held on Saturday, November 21st and Sunday Novembe…
 
Our guest is Joshua Schlachet who is the Assistant Professor of Japanese History at The University of Arizona. Josh is a historian of early modern and modern Japan, specializing in the cultural history of food and nourishment in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, which was the era of powerful Shoguns and the subsequent westernization. But the…
 
Our guest today is Joshua Walker who is the President & CEO of Japan Society in New York. Joshua has a very intriguing background. He was raised in Japan and spent his formative years until 18 in Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan where the geography and climate are diversely different from the mainland Japan. And Hokkaido’s food culture is ext…
 
Our guest is Kanariya Eiraku who is a rakugo-ka or traditional Japanese comic storyteller. Rakugo is a unique form of entertainment that became popular in the 17th century during the Edo period. A storyteller sits on the stage alone only with a folding fan and a hand towel. These are the only props used during the performance. But once the rakugoka…
 
​ Our guest is Elizabeth Andoh, who already joined us 9 times on Episodes 18, 61, 83, 99, 108, 131, 156, 180, 200 and shared her truly deep insight into traditional Japanese food culture. Elizabeth is a food writer and Japanese cooking instructor based in Tokyo and she has lived in Japan for over 50 years. She runs the culinary arts program called …
 
Our guestis Tom Kisaichi who is the owner, grower and winemaker of the Maboroshi Vineyard in Sonoma, California. Tom is courageous. Without any background of wine-making, he went to France to study wine at the one of the greatest Burgundian wineries in Gevrey Chambertin in 1991 and he opened The Maboroshi Vineyard in Sonoma, California with his wif…
 
Our guest is Bastian Schwithal who is the CEO and co-founder of Go-Sake based in Berlin, Germany. Since Bastian founded the company in 2017, he has been actively introducing Japanese sake to Germany, which is the kingdom of beer and wine. He also has an award-winning premium sake brand co-produced by traditional Japanese breweries. In this episode,…
 
Our guest is Andrea Fazzari, a Tokyo-based James Beard Award- winning photographer and author who specializes in travel and the culinary world. Andrea joined us on Episode 113 to discuss her then-new book “TOKYO NEW WAVE: 31 Chefs Defining Japan's Next Generation with Recipes”, which won The 2019 James Beard Foundation Book Awards for photography. …
 
Our guest is Tez Sawanobori who is the founder and CEO of the Connected Robotics based in Tokyo. We have already seen various applications of robots to our daily life. For example, a Japanese older couple lives with a robot as their close friend to ease their loneliness. Tez develops robots that can manage skillful tasks with advanced technology an…
 
Our guest is Kumiko Zimmerman who is the Founder and CEO at Don Sueños Tequila. She is the first Japanese woman who owns and runs a tequila company. Although Japan is now famous for great whisky production, tequila is not instantly connected with Japan in our mind. But Kumiko has been proving to the world that she can make the world-class tequila b…
 
Our guest is Jeremy Hunter who is the Founding Director of the Executive Mind Leadership Institute at Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management. Jeremy teaches corporate executives how to examine their lives, because he thinks that you cannot manage people without managing yourself first. You may have heard of the concept of flow state or bein…
 
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