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"Through his innovative approach to cooking, Kunio Tokuoka reinvents the classic dishes of Kaiseki without deviating from the extraordinary history and tradition of Japanese cuisine. In this book, he shares the inspiration behind his dishes with reference to the seasons, art, natural history and culture of Japan and through the exquisite photographs, he gives a glimpse of the beauty and creativity of his extraordinary restaurant." --Heston Blumenthal, Chef de Cuisine/Owner, The Fat Duck restaurant Kaiseki had its origins in the sixteenth century as an accompaniment to the Japanese tea ceremony. Over time, it has evolved into a highly formalized, artistic cuisine that celebrates the seasons by using only fresh, natural, local ingredients. Today, what we know as "kaiseki" owes much to Teiichi Yuki, founder of Kitcho restaurant in Kyoto and the creator of a contemporary version of this traditional cuisine. Kitcho continues to be world-renowned as the high temple of kaiseki; and its current chef and owner (and Yuki's grandson), Kunio Tokuoka, is revered for his innovative and exquisite interpretations of kaiseki dishes. Now, with this book, readers will get a look behind the well-guarded doors at the secrets, recipes, presentation techniques, and philosophy of one of the world's premiere restaurants. Chef Tokuoka stands at the top of his profession. Yet his approach to cooking is remarkably simple. How can he draw the best flavors for a hearty stock? How can he cook a fish dish so that it becomes a transforming experience for even the most jaded diner? Answer: Simply by finding the optimum way to prepare or cook each ingredient so as to draw out peak flavor. Over and over again, he demonstrates how he has reinvented an old technique or created new dishes to astonish loyal patrons. At Kitcho, a full-course meal is a multisensory experience to be savored on many levels. It can be a revelation. It can change the way people think about food. This book will do the same. From innovative cooking techniques to an artist's touch in food arrangement, Kitcho: Japan's Ultimate Dining Experience reveals every aspect of entertaining in the Japanese mode through brilliant photography; the chef's recipe notes; and essays on cooking, food arrangement, Japanese aesthetics, food philosophy, and the exquisite Japanese art of entertaining at the table, penned by Nobuko Sugimoto, one of Japan's leading food writers.
Kunio Tokuoka is the Executive Chef of Kitcho and the grandson of Teiichi Yuki, the creator of contemporary kaiseki. Tokuoka has worked in the kitchen of Kitcho for thirty-five years, starting at age fifteen. He has attended several important culinary symposia overseas; most recently, he presented a paper at an event held by the James Beard Foundation and the Umami Information Center.