March 9, 2018 (New York, NY) - On Tuesday, March 6, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) New York office and Chef Eric Ripert hosted an event to introduce the culinary and cultural offerings of Hokuriku, a hidden gem located in central Japan. The event was held at Ripert's Michelin three-starred restaurant, Le Bernardin, and included a discussion by Ripert and Nathan Thornburgh of Roads & Kingdoms on Japanese culinary art and traditional craftsmanship.
The event highlights included Ripert's stunning culinary creations, as well as the special appetizer, Hamachi-Osetra Caviar Tartare with Sea Lettuce and Smoked Dashi Gelées, served in hand-crafted bowls by Nousaku, a tableware brand from the Hokuriku region where Ripert visited last September.
Nathan Thornburgh (left) and Eric Ripert (right)
Asked about inspirations Ripert took from his trip to Hokuriku, he shared a word from a craftsman that he met at Kayoutei workshop. "A wood turner I met there said 'You look with your soul, not with your eyes.' That was very special to me. I see a parallel in cooking– when you create sauces, there are all these flavors that are not tangible, it is a thing that doesn't exist yet and you have to cook with your heart, not just your hands and your eyes in order to make something special."
Appetizer served in a hand-crafted bowl by Nousaku
Ripert showed a tiny lacquered box with an intricate design, a souvenir he got for his wife, and noted that "The depth of dedication, passion, and expertise required for such craftsmanship is simply admirable." Ripert also brought a prestigious Takamura knife, gifted to him by Mr. Takamura, and demonstrated its incomparable sharpness by cutting through a newspaper with ease. " Takamura knife is not just a kitchen knife but also an art piece. Its weight is just right and fits perfectly in my hand," Ripert said.
With a new global-scale campaign "Enjoy my Japan," JNTO aims to showcase diverse attractions of Japan and entice travellers to lesser-known areas towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO):
As the official tourism board of Japan, JNTO is involved in a wide range of promotional activities encouraging international travelers to visit Japan.
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Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) New York Office