Our guest is Kotaro Hamada who is the 6th generation of Hamada Shuzo in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. Hamada Shuzo has been making shochu, the Japanese traditional spirit, since 1868.
Hamada Shuzo’s quality is highly recognized not only in Japan but also abroad and its shochu brands called Daiyame 25 and Daiyame 40 have received multiple prestigious awards, including the Gold Medal for Daiyame 40 at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in 2022.
Japanese sake has once lost its popularity domestically due to various reasons such as declining alcohol consumption among the younger generations, competitive products such as wine and craft beer and the labor shortage. But thanks to the popularity of Japanese food abroad, Japanese sake has been repositioning itself in the market both in Japan and overseas.
Shochu, however, is still an unknown beverage outside the country and the shochu industry has been striving to make it recognized as a precious spirit in the international market.
So today, we will discuss what shochu is, the regionally diverse characteristics of shochu, how the younger generations of shochu makers like Kotaro are trying to introduce the beautiful Japanese tradition to the world, and much, much more!!!
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Weitere Episoden von „Japan Eats!“
Jiro Ono’s Protégé Cultivates His Own Sushi Culture in America
37:46Our guest is Daisuke Nakazawa who is the owner and executive chef of the Michelin-starred Sushi Nakazawa. He opened Sushi Nakazawa in New York in 2013 and its success led to the opening of the second location in Washington, D.C., in 2017. He is also planning to open the third location in Los Angeles later this year. He is also the owner of Saito, an izakaya and sake bar in Manhattan’s Nolita, which he opened in 2022. You may have seen Chef Nakazawa in the legendary documentary film “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” on Netflix. After completing the classic, extremely strict training under chef Ono, he moved to the U.S. and started a new chapter of his life. In this episode, we will discuss what Chef Nakazawa learned from his 11-year training at the renowned Sukiyabashi Jiro, why he moved to the U.S., how he conveys the traditional sushi culture to a very diverse global audience, why he has never changed his menu price since Sushi Nakazawa’s opening 10 years ago, and much, much more!Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
Capturing The Lives of Vanishing Shokunin Masters
56:40Our guest is Michael Magers, who is a documentary photographer and journalist who splits his time between New York City and Austin, Texas. He is a frequent collaborator with the highly acclaimed publisher Roads & Kingdoms (legendary author and television host Anthony Bourdain was a partner and investor in Roads & Kingdoms), and served as the lead photographer on their award-winning books "Rice Noodle Fish” and "Grape Olive Pig."Michael’s images are exhibited both internationally and in the U.S., and have appeared in a wide range of digital and print publications, including TIME, Smithsonian, Vogue Italia, CNN’s Explore Parts Unknown, and The New York Times to name a few. Michael is also known for his unique and deeply insightful work that captures Japanese artisans called shokunin. In this episode, we will discuss how Michael got into documentary photography, what part of Japan attracts him as a photographer, the essence of the shokunin mindset, his intriguing work that features modern life of Japan in the dark, and much, much more!!!Photo courtesy of David Burnett, Contact Press Images.Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
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The Mindset of a Sushi Chef
46:56Our guest today is Mitsunori Isoda, the executive chef at Omakase Room by Mitsu in New York. The Omakase Room serves authentic Japanese Edomae-style sushi at his beautiful 8-seat hinoki wood bar counter in Manhattan’s West Village.These days you can find great sushi restaurants in New York and other global cities around the world, but we don’t often get to understand the philosophy of each sushi chef. In this show, we get an exclusive look at how a sushi chef strives to create the guests’ best experience based on their own mindset that has been cultivated over the years. Chef Mitsu was classically trained in Japan and came to the U.S. in 2006 to pursue his dream of making sushi in this country. Since then, he has gone through diverse experiences in America but his philosophy has only solidified. In this episode, we will discuss what the essence of Edomae sushi is, the key elements of great Edomae sushi you should look for at sushi restaurants, Chef Mitsu’s sushi-making policy and philosophy behind it, how to become a sophisticated sushi diner (yes, it is a bit intimidating to eat at a sushi counter!), and much, much more!!!Photo courtesy of Francesco Sapienza.Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
A Journey of An American Sake Brewer
56:13Our guest this week is Todd Bellomy, the owner and brewer of Farthest Star Sake in Massachusetts. Todd joined us in Episode #36 to discuss his previous brewery Dovetail Sake in 2016. His success at Dovetail Sake led him to the opening of his new brewery Farthest Star Sake in 2022.Todd has not only been producing high-quality, authentic style of sake, but has also witnessed the development of the American sake culture as an insider. Now we have dozens of notable sake breweries in the U.S. and this is an exciting time to drink locally-made, delicious Japanese sake. In this episode, we will discuss how Todd successfully convinced American beverage lovers to drink Japanese sake in Massachusetts, his new products at Farthest Star Sake that would inspire both sake lovers and novices alike, the fascinating recent changes in American sake production, and much, much more!!!Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
Sushi Can Be Sustainable
49:55Our guest today is Hajime Sato who is the chef/owner of Sozai near Detroit, Michigan. Hajime has been known for keenly pursuing sustainability, which is very challenging for a sushi chef, for the last 14 years.His efforts have been widely recognized, and this year, Hajime became one of the five nominees for the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef Award. The James Beard Foundation Awards are often called the Academy Awards for culinary professionals, so you can tell how powerful Hajime’s voice is.In this episode, we will discuss how Hajime came to the U.S. and became a sustainability-minded chef, how he manages to offer sustainable seafood at his Japanese restaurant Sozai, what unknown, delicious and sustainable seafood we should try, what we should do now for the future to keep enjoying seafood, and much, much more!!!Photo courtesy of Rebecca Simonov.Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
What Makes the Japanese Food Culture So Unique?
56:43Our guest is Matt Alt who is a Tokyo-based writer and "localizer" of Japanese entertainment products including video games, toys, and manga. His work has appeared widely in publications including The New York Times, BBC Culture, The Economist 1843, Aeon Magazine, and The New Yorker. (We will find out what “localizer” means in our conversation.)Also, Matt is the author of “Pure Invention: How Japan Made The Modern World”, which insightfully analyzes how the unique Japanese mindset ended up producing unexpectedly globally influential products, such as anime and games, along with the roots of these inventions. In this episode, we will discuss how Matt established his interesting career in Japan, his deep insights into how Japanese culture has unexpectedly influenced the world (with plenty of fun examples such as Konbini, Depachika, Hello Kitty and Anime), what is underneath the Japanese food culture, and much, much more!!!Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
Wagashi: Delicious, Beautiful Japanese Sweets Celebrate Seasons And Nature
58:27Our guest today is Phoebe Ogawa, who is a wagashi chef based in New York. Wagashi are traditional Japanese sweets, and they are quite different from Western-style sweets in many ways, such as the ingredients, how they're made, and the occasions they are served. For whatever reason, we don’t see wagashi outside of Japan very often, even in big cities like New York, despite the popularity of Japanese food.Pheobe is one of the precious wagashi ambassadors abroad. She was classically trained in Japan and now communicates the essence of wagashi to New Yorkers through her stunningly beautiful sweets. In this episode, we will discuss what wagashi is, the differences between wagashi and Western-stye sweets, different types of wagashi, how Phoebe studied wagashi, the challenges of making wagashi in New York, and much, much more!Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
Kodawari Ramen: A Former Air Force Pilot Leads The Ramen Culture In Paris
48:27Our guest today is Jean-Baptiste Meusnier, the chef and owner of Kodawari Ramen in Paris. Jean-Baptiste was an air force pilot in his home country of France when he had a revelation to become a ramen chef. In April 2016, he opened Kodawari Ramen in central Paris and his focus on creating the best ramen has been as sharp as flying a military airplane. He makes everything from scratch at a level even Japanese ramen cooks would never do. In this episode, we discuss how Jean-Baptiste was drawn into the world of ramen, his authentic yet inspiring philosophy of making ramen, the utterly unique ambiance of Kodawari’s dining room, challenges in cooking ramen in Paris, and much, much more!Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
Obsessed With Ice: What is Kakigori?
43:37Our guest today is Elizabeth Andoh, who has joined us 12 times previously to share her truly deep insight into traditional Japanese food culture. Elizabeth is a food writer and Japanese cooking instructor based in Tokyo, where she has lived for over 50 years. She runs the culinary arts program called A Taste of Culture, which offers a great opportunity for non-Japanese people to explore Japanese culture through its food. Elizabeth is also the author of 6 cookbooks, including the award-winning “Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Kitchen” and “Kansha: Celebrating Japan's Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions.”Today’s topic is ice. It’s summertime and we all love refreshing cooling sweets. In Japan, ice has been an important part of its food culture. The most famous food would be Kakigori, a type of shaved ice dish with unique flavor and texture. Its aesthetic is another reason Kakigori is so popular. You can go to a specialty shop or Japanese-style café to enjoy Kakigori or you can make one at home as various handy tools are available. In this episode, we will discuss how Japanese people started eating ice 12 centuries ago, how they developed the elaborate shaved ice called Kakigori, the unique flavors and texture of Kakigori, how you can make Kakigori at home, other types of ice used in Japanese food culture, such as hand-carved perfect ice used for cocktails and much, much more!!!Photo courtesy of Robin Scanlon.Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.
Nisei: A First-Generation Chef Explores Possibilities of Japanese Culinary Tradition Globally
45:36Our guest is David Yoshimura, who is the chef/owner of Nisei in San Francisco, California.Nisei means the first-generation, a son or daughter of Japanese immigrants who were born in the United States. Niseis inevitably live in dual cultures and many of them choose to celebrate Japanese culture in different ways. David is one of them. After working at top restaurants in the world, he opened his own place named Nisei in 2022 and earned a Michelin star within six months after opening. In this episode, we will discuss what is it like to be Nisei in America, how David expresses the Japanese tradition through his unique identity, how David explores possibilities of Japanese food in the global context by working with culturally diverse top chefs in the world, and much, much more!Heritage Radio Network is a listener supported nonprofit podcast network. Support Japan Eats by becoming a member!Japan Eats is Powered by Simplecast.