NEW YORK, NY March 24, 2017 – â€“ On Monday March 20th, Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) New York Office hosted a media event at the Michelin three-star French restaurant, Le Bernardin, to showcase the beauty and diverse Japanese culinary cultures.
Japanese food, known as Washoku, has become an important part of food culture, especially in New York and other major cities. Washoku is a variety of Japanese food; its traditions have been passed down for subsequent generations. It has been registered by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2013 and is appreciated and recognized worldwide. Washokuâ€™s distinct flavor Umami is considered the fifth taste in the world. Today, Japanese broth (Dashi - made from dried foods such as Kombu kelp and cured bonitoes) with Umami flavor is blending through other cuisines from around the world, including French cuisine.
Le Bernardin's menu uses Japanese culinary staples such as Dashi broth with Umami flavor as part of their signature ingredients. Chef Eric Ripert and JNTO curated a three-course menu that specially showcased the unique ties between French and Japanese cuisines for the event. Individual meals were paired precisely with Japanese Sake and wines from around the world. The first course, "Seared Yellowfin Tuna, Soba Noodles Kombu Confit, Yuzu Ponzu Vinaigrette" was paired with Yuki no Bosha, Yamahai Junmai Sake made in Akita Prefecture. The sake had wine-like flavor, which was a new experience and taste for many of the event guests. The main course, "Poached Halibut, Manila Clams and Maitake Mushrooms Dashi Broth" was arranged special menu item created specifically for the event. The Dashi made by Maitake mushrooms was made with a richer flavor than the authentic Japanese way to please American palate.
Throughout the event Chef Ripert spoke about the diversity of food cultures in Japan. "Japan is a pretty big country with a different climate, and different influences. When you go to Tokyo, you do not eat the same food that you may eat in Kyoto, Okinawa, or Hokkaido and so on. It is very diverse," said Chef Ripert. Chef also noted that "There is a continuous exchange and discovery of new techniques and ingredients between French and Japanese culinary cultures that is fascinating. More and more tourists are visiting Japan, to explore Tokyo or see famous monuments and historical sites. But more so, there are a lot of visitors that I know that are traveling to Japan for an authentic food experience. Then they come back fascinated with the food culture, just like I have been so many times myself." Many guests were captivated by the connection between Japanese and French culinary practices as well as the influence and exchange of techniques among the two cultures, which guests learned about first-hand from via the curated menu and Chef Ripertâ€™s detailed explanation of Japanese food culture and its tradition, including the beauty of Japan grown produce and its culinary art.
Japanese culinary art continues to attract many international travelers to Japan as their destination of travel. JNTO New York office will continue to promote Japan's culinary tourism in hopes of encouraging additional travelers to visit Japan and enjoy Washoku using all of their senses.
1: Le Bernardin
Le Bernardin earned four stars from The New York Times three months after its opening in 1986, never having dropped a star throughout five reviews, and is the only restaurant to maintain this rating for that length of time.
The restaurant has held three stars from the Michelin Guide since its 2005 and ranks 24 in the World's 50 Best Restaurant list. The New York Zagat Guide has recognized Le Bernardin as top rated in the category of "Best Food" for the last nine consecutive years, and in 2015 & 2016 was rated by the guide as New York City's top restaurant for food and service, and named most popular restaurant in 2017.
The menu features many Japanese ingredients such as Kombu, miso, and yuzu perfectly paired with Japanese sake, inviting their guests to enjoy the precisely matched Japanese and French cuisine.
Address: 155 W 51st Street, New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212 554 1515
2: Chef Eric Ripert @EricRipert
Born in Antibes, France, Eric Ripert is grateful for his early exposure to cuisine. His family instilled their own passion for food in the young Ripert, and at the age of 15 he left home to attend culinary school in Perpignan, and at 17, he moved to Paris and cooked at the legendary La Tour Dâ€™Argent before taking a position at the Michelin three-starred Jamin.
In 1995, Ripert earned a four-star rating from the New York Times. Over 15 years later and for the fifth consecutive time, Le Bernardin again earned the New York Timesâ€™ highest rating of four stars, becoming the only restaurant to maintain this superior status for this length of time, without ever dropping a star. Ripert is the author of 5 cookbooks and released his New York Times Bestselling Memoir, 32 Yolks, in 2016.
Ripert has great knowledge of the unique ties between French and Japanese culinary art, their respect for ingredients, obsession for freshness and quality, and the difference in its use of knives.
3 : Japan National Tourism Organization
As the official tourism board of Japan, JNTO is involved in a wide range of promotional activities encouraging international travelers to visit Japan. With regional offices all over the world, JNTO proudly welcomes everyone to Japan. For more information, visit us on our Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
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