On November 1 Chef Mike Herbert and a group of NOVA culinary students visited the S. Dillon Ripley Center at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., for the Taste of Japan event. Rudy Maxa, host of Rudy Maxa’s World on public television, and local restaurateur Daisuke Utagawa (Daikaya, Bantam King) screened a preview of their upcoming series “Taste of Japan,” which follows their search for the ingredients, the people and the traditions behind the country’s exquisite cuisine.
Maxa and Utagawa took the audience on a culinary tour of Japan. They showed how sushi chefs hone their craft with kaizen, the Japanese pursuit of perfection and how Japanese sushi restaurateurs search for the freshest fish at the world famous Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. They also showed how Japanese cuisine is more than tempura and teriyaki, and how superb and varied it can be.
They visited some of the local street vendors, some small restaurants, a store which sells only chopsticks and even a farm which grows the best wasabi. They also took questions from the crowd, and everyone had the chance to sample some sushi and green tea at the reception that followed.
NOVA students agreed it was a fun and enlightening evening, as it broadened their view of this unique cuisine.