Japan: Izakaya

Continuing our journey through Japan, Kenta’s dad generously treated us to one of his favorite meals at a local Izakaya.  Izakaya literally translates to “i” (to stay) and “sakaya” (sake shop), which is a place to grab a light meal and drinks.  Here are some of the highlights: Motsunabe (もつ鍋) – Read more…

Japan: Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake. The name is derived from the word okonomi meaning “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki meaning “grilled” or “cooked”.  It is extremely popular in Osaka. I had the pleasure of trying Kuro-Chan’s okonomiyaki during my first trip.  His shop is a hole in Read more…

Japan: Monjayaki

Most tourists in Japan will likely try the popular Okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) and Takoyaki (octopus balls), but will not have even heard of Monjayaki.  Thanks to our Tokyo expert Kenta and his mother Mami, we got to experience this unique Tokyo dish.  So what is it? Monja (short for Monjayaki) Read more…

Japan: Takoyaki

Takoyaki (たこ焼き) is one of my favorite street snacks in Japan. My first experience was back in 2012 with Virginia and Kathleen. What a mind blowing experience! They look innocently spherical, but are filled with molten hot goodness!  Here are two Osaka takoyaki masters at it: The slightly crispy outside shell Read more…

Chez Panisse

Chez Panisse-37

Chez Panisse is a Berkeley, California restaurant known for using local, organic foods and credited as the inspiration for the style of cooking known as California cuisine. Well-known restauranteur, author, and food activist Alice Waters co-founded Chez Panisse in 1971. From the beginning, Waters advocated a style of cooking that uses the freshest, most delicious local food available, often prepared and presented simply and/or traditionally. The restaurant prides itself on relationships with producers, and buys through its established network of local farmers, ranchers, and dairies. [wiki]


Japan: Haru’s cooking class

Haru’s Cooking Class

One of my most memorable times in Kyoto was Haru’s cooking class.  I learned how to make Dashi (soup stock), Aemono & Kinpira (vegetarian dishes), Tamago (omelet), Kobe beef & Miso soup!  The recipes were simple, but got me started in Japanese cooking.  Taro (the teacher) holds the cooking classes in his home alongside his wife and daughter Haru.