Thirty guests tasted the best of traditional Japanese cuisine at the James Beard House in New York during A True Japanese Experience of Japanese Kaiseki on Monday, October 21, 2013. The second in a series of events designed to celebrate and share the unique qualities, flavors, and traditions of Japanese cuisine, world-renowned chef Chikara Sono crafted extraordinarily beautiful seasonal dishes for an unforgettable taste experience.
The James Beard House, home to the James Beard Foundation, was the perfect setting to showcase this quintessential Japanese culinary tradition. Guests enjoyed the eight course meal that combined local seasonal ingredients with those specially flown in from Japan, such as Miyzaki Wagyu beef, for the evening. A series of small dishes such as crispy white fish puree with yamato imo, pickled red and golden beets, or seared Jingiskan-style lamb emphasized flavor as well as Japanese regional favorites. Garnished with gingko and momiji leaves or whole chestnuts and river smooth stones, guests enjoyed a sense of autumn in Japan while dining in New York.
Chef Sono finished the evening with chickpea zenzai and a sweet bun paired with nagaimo (Japanese yam) sauce. A careful selection of Dassai and Chikurin sakes, including the New York debut of Dassai Beyond, rounded out each course. Gochisosamadeshita! (Thanks for the feast!)