********** Yoshinori Ishii Executive chef of Japanese restaurant UMU in London ******************

------------------ 英国の日本料理店 UMU 総料理長 石井義典 のつれづれなる話 ------------


Traditional fishing at the River Severn 、Severn 川での伝統鮭漁

Not too long ago, our supplier for eel fry and wild Atlantic salmon, Dai, had taken me to see authentic Welsh fishing as well as elver fishing at The River Severn. My wish to also see traditional salmon fishing at his turf – the River Severn – ever since our conversation in his car has finally come true.
The River Severn is the longest river in the United Kingdom, which springs in Wales and flows into Bristol in England. Its outfall forms a giant cove together with nearby Bristol Channel, the river itself is massive in width and has the World’s 2nd greatest tidal variation. The difference in water level between at ebb and high tide on the day of spring tide reaches impressive 15 meters. Looking down from a bridge on A40, you see a gigantic estuaryr at full tide, which transforms into spacious tidal flats at ebb tide.
My guide this time around was Horace Cook, a father of Richard, CEO of Severn & Wye Smokery, where Dai acts as an ambassador. Since the foundation of the company, Richard and him have predominantly dealt locally caught salmon and eel fry as well as those caught in Wales or suburbs of Bristol, cities with good transporting connection to Gloucester where the company situates. While the main focus is to produce smoked products from eel or salmon, their business is highly diversified, extends to being a fishmonger, a restaurateur and farming eel fry. There’s also a successful project, which we were lucky enough to participate once, to use hands of local kids to release farmed eel elvers into a lake in Wales every year, where the specie is already extinct. All drainage, a byproduct of a processing plant, is sprinkled at the company’s farm, encouraging healthy and rapid growth of pasture, allowing 4 harvests a year.
For a river that is remarkably wide, a pathway leading to the fishing spot where baits contrived for salmon is so narrow that a car can barely pass. The scenery suddenly opens up and changes to a view of estuary lying right in front of your eyes. The width is so extensive that a sense of distance to the opposite bank becomes lost, and turbid water continues to flow tirelessly, both like a river stream and tidal stream. The water is reddish-brown in colour due to strong current constantly coming and going simultaneously with the rise and fall of tide. How salmon manages to unmistakably swim upstream in such condition is still a mystery.
A method used in salmon fishing is called putcher fishing; cone-shaped baskets are set between stakes placed 20 meters from the shoulder of the river, facing upper stream. Salmon, before heading upstream, hovers in brackish water zone for some time, in order to familiarise and become able to shift from seawater to fresh water. A head of salmon is trapped in the cone-shaped basket as it enters the contrived device while swimming downwards to the sea along powerful oceanic current, simply becomes unable to exit due to heavy force generated by stream from behind. 
A question arose while observing; Why the device is set only 20 meters away from the bank of the river when its width exceeds few hundreds meters. According to Horace, Salmon, naturally led by southwesterly winds, swims back and forth between the immense ocean and its birth-river, and its downward route towards the sea is commonly within a whisker of the bank on this side of river. Horace also believes only sufficient number of salmon should be caught, not to sweep up all trafficking fish.
Salmon is a creature with many mysteries including a unique behaviour to return to its birthplace as a full-grown fish after crossing the sea while growing, yet also very high in locality, developing relationships with diverse endemic human kinds all around the world.

A legend or a folklore regarding salmon exists everywhere and always a delight to encounter. Contemporary version of the putcher fishing’s basket is metallic, as oppose to an original basket made out of twigs of indigenous plants of Britain picked from the hedge. By tracing back the family-line of current fishermen, a data will prove the ancestors fished at exact same spot as far back as 400 years ago, and a record also shows this particular fishing tradition dates back to the Roman era.
Horace says the current Salmon fishing licence at the River Severn given by the British authority only retains its validity until the end of this generation and will not be passed on to the next. Dai regularly mentions overall numbers of upstreaming salmon in the river almost reaching the standard of old days, as well as natural resource is recovering in good rate. It is saddening that, nonetheless, a tradition with hundreds of years of history will be lost, in the good name of pro-environmental movement.

Severn川はウェールズを源とし、イングランドのBristol 近くに流れ込む英国で最も長い河川です。河口付近はブリストルチャネルから続く非常に大きな入り江になっており、広大な川幅と世界第二位の干満差があります。大潮の日は干潮と満潮の水面差が15メートルにもなるそうで、国道A40にかかる橋から川を見下ろすと満潮時は大河となっており、干潮時は大きく干潟が広がっています。
今回はDai氏がAmbassadorを務める会社、Severn & Wye smokery の社長、Richardのお父さんHorace Cook氏に案内をしてもらいました。彼は会社を起こしてからRichardと共に近郊で獲れる鮭、稚鰻、また、会社のあるGloucesterが交通の要であることから、主にWalesやブリストル近郊などで獲れる魚でビジネスをしてきました。鰻や鮭の燻製をメインに作っていながら、鮮魚の販売、レストラン経営、稚鰻の育成など多岐にわたります。以前私たちも参加した育成した稚鰻を既に絶滅してしまったWalesの湖に子供たちの手によって毎年放流し続ける事業も成功させています。魚の処理施設から出た排水は全て自社の農場に撒き、そこで育てた牧草は発育がよく、年4回の収穫ができるそうです。
鮭漁の仕掛けはPutcher fishingと呼ばれ、バスケットと呼ばれる円錐形の籠が川岸から約20mほどの間に立てられた杭の間に複数上流を向けて備え付けられていました。鮭は川に登る前に汽水域でしばらくの間少しずつ海水から淡水に体をなじませるために行ったりきたりするそうですが、強い海流と共に海に下る最中ににその仕掛けの中に体が入ると円錐形の籠に頭をとられ、後方からの流れに押されて逃げ出すことができなくなるようになっているという極めてシンプルなものでした。
見ると同時に沸いてきた疑問は“なぜ何百メートルもある川の中で川岸からほんの20mほどに仕掛けを掛けるのか?”ということでした。Horace 氏曰く、“鮭は南西の風の方向を選んで大きな海、生まれた川を行き来する。海に下る時に通る道筋は川の中でも常にこちら岸すれすれになる。また、川を通る魚を獲るのも全てを獲ってしまうのではなく、自分達に必要なだけ取れればいい。”とのことでした。
Horace 氏の話では現在、英国の政府から与えられているSevern川での鮭漁のライセンスは今の漁師の代で最後となり、次の世代には受け継がれないそうです。Dai氏にいつも聞いていますが川全体の鮭の遡上数は昔の水準まで戻ってきており、資源は回復しているにもかかわらず、環境保護などの観点から折角何百年も続いた伝統を絶やすことは悲しいことです。


Japanese cuisine goodwill Ambassador 日本食普及の親善大使 

Despite an announcement has already been made public last month, it was on 20/05 I received an official statement from Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, appointing me as Japanese cuisine goodwill Ambassador

To serve Japanese food outside the land of Japan inevitably correlates with imparting virtues of Japanese cuisine to multinational guests, first-handedly on a daily basis. 18 years have past since I departed from my homeland started as an Official residence cook for UN Ambassador, and now an Executive Head chef at a restaurant here in London, I have always valued most, and still do, gratification of guests in front me, which in my undoubting and continuing belief is the essence of Kaiseki cuisine.

Whether at the restaurant or the past events in respective countries, Ive always tackled, in my own ways I trusted most suitable, to reach as many ears as possible with the beaut of Japanese cuisine.  Indifferently from now too, I will stand firm on my own unique methods and to continue to devote myself. 



World gourmet summit 2016 20th year  ワールドグルメサミット2016“20周年記念”

I was summoned as a master chef at the biggest culinary festival in Asia, Would Gourmet Summit, held in Singapore.

The tasks given to me here were to hold a master class on the first day and give a presentation, later to turn presented dishes into a luncheon, as well as to serve Kaiseki course at Chinese restaurant Tóng Lè Private Dining 4days in a row from that night.

At the early stage of creating a menu, it came to my attention that ingredients unattainable in London market would be available although local fishes are unsuitable to be prepared raw. Consequently, I decided to return to my origin and have seafood shipped from Japan, also in means to make Japanese ingredients known.

After the Great East Japan Earthquake, I have always been concerned, as a fellow Japanese, for not taking further actions to support other than participating in charity events at London or eagerly promoting foods from Japan. To cast greater mission on myself, I set a theme called Remember Tohoku, and committed to use ingredients that are unique to Tohoku (Northeast Japan) and prepare its local cuisine with my spin on it Sagohachizuke (pickled in Koji) with swordfish from Kesen-numa (region in Miyagi), Masu salmon from Tohoku thin-sliced frozen (known as Ru.Ipe) to be included into the course. 

Urakasumi, a sake brewery from Miyagi, sympathised with my take and joined in to supply sake while giving presentation on Tohokus current state, furthermore suggesting sake paring with the Kaiseki course at the restaurant. I was doubly grateful that their participation also led to coverage by Japanese media, allowing my view to be broadcasted and heard.

I have to admit, I naturally had a series of concerns at the beginning considering serving Kaiseki cuisine at a setting of Chinese restaurant, yet those were wiped off by welcoming smiles of staffs of Tóng Lè Private Dining and their profound wills to help. Their hospitality was both heartfelt and professional, having to prep together from early mornings and exhausting themselves with dinner services, and yet giving us a tour of many unmissable spots. Thanks to them, we got to experience and enjoy Singapore.
   Indifferently this time around, the event succeeded by the supports from uncountable number of people, I thanked all participants each and every day.


今回の私に与えられた課題は初日の昼にマスタークラスとしてのプレゼンテーションとそこで作る料理でのランチョン、その夜から4日間続けて中国料理店“Tóng Lè Private Dining ”での懐石料理の提供でした。

東日本大震災後、ロンドンで行ったチャリティーディナーや食材の積極利用以外なにも行っていないことは同じ日本人として、常に気になっていましたので、更に自分に課題を与えようとの食材を使って東北の郷土料理を私風にアレンジしたものを楽しんでもらおうと“Remember Tohoku”と題し、気仙沼産のメカジキを三五八漬けにしたものや、東北で獲れた桜鱒のルイベ料理を懐石の中に入れ込みました。 
計画時点では中国料理店での懐石料理のサービスということもあり、不安が多くありましたが、“Tóng Lè Private Dining ”のスタッフは非常に協力的でいつも笑顔で私たちを心から暖かく迎え、手伝ってくれました。彼らの心づくしは本当にプロフェッショナルで、朝から一緒に仕込みをし、夜サービスが終わった後にはシンガポール中のいろいろなスポットに連れまわしてくれ、様々な楽しい経験をすることが出来ました。



Oxford Anagama Kiln Project オックスフォード穴窯プロジェクト

A group of ceramic artists, centering recognized living national treasure Mr. Jun Isezaki, came together with University of Oxford and Whichford Pottery to jointly create Anagama, a Japanese style ancient kiln dug into the side of hill, within the campus of the University.
Since few months back, the plan, named “Oxford Anagama Kiln Project”, has been carried out in conjunction by a Japanese team led by up and coming artist Mr. Kazuya Ishida and a team of locals.
Kazuya, who helped significantly at the event “Presenting Japan” and showcased wonderful performance, sent over china clay suitable for the use of Anagama kiln. I had worked on pieces in real earnest since the beginning of this year with the particular clay, and I took a field trip to Oxford as I was offered to include few of my pieces into the kiln’s first bake.

Situated in a forest about 10 minutes away from the station, two different sized kilns line up next to an atelier and a caravan used as an accommodation. I could easily assume that the amount of effort poured into building the entire set up on a vacant plot of land was remarkably great.

Jim from Whichford Pottery was in the middle of filling the kiln, and all staff, both the team from Japan including Kazuya and the locals, worked relentlessly to load mountainous piles of wares.
I had a chance to chat with Robin, a chief of the University team, and he shared that all wood used to fuel the kiln is timber from thinning out the forest within the campus. Thinning out is necessary treatment in order to keep healthy trees yet rarely practiced as the byproduct ends up going to waste. The project gave new means to the thinning lumber as well as helps keeping the trees well treated. 

Moreover, we also conversed in depth about recognising the enormous potential this project carries in means of cultural progression for both Japan and Britain, and shared my intention to participate in any measure from chef’s stand point, who actually work closely with tableware.
The kiln was soon fired up, and I waited with much excitement to hold the pieces from the first bake after 10 days of firing period.  

10 days later, the joint team’s first bake in a climbing kilm had successfully completed, and Kazuya kindly delivered my pieces before his flight back to Japan.
Unlike any baked colour from any region of production in Japan, the finished colour was outstandingly unique and well exceeded my expectation. Taking my molding technique out of question for now, I cannot thank Mr. Ishida enough for the wonderful piece who made this work possible with much endeavor along the way.
Furthermore, while the vase he previously created for Umu using other kiln had been an important centerpiece of the restaurant, he crafted a new piece with completely innovative design.  The new vase would be perfect with invigorating spring flowers in the upcoming season; it is another piece of treasure added to our proud collection.
While most people used pre-chosen clay, Mr, Ishida travelled number of regions within UK and dug clay with his own hands, gave through research into finding perfect clay for the climbing kiln. His work was simply exceptional and exquisite.
As long as a character like Mr. Ishida is taking part in the project, we have much to look forward to in its future development.
人間国宝の伊勢崎淳先生を中心とした備前焼の作家とオックスフォード大学、Whichford Potteryが共同で大学の敷地内に日本の古窯と同じ穴窯を築き上げました。
Oxford Anagama Kiln Project”という名前で数ヶ月前から若手作家の石田和也君を中心とした日本のメンバーと地元スタッフとが共同で行われているものです。

前回“Presenting Japan”のイベントでも手伝ってくれ、素晴らしいパフォーマンスを披露してくれた石田君が穴窯に合った陶土を送ってくれました。今年の初めから私も本腰を入れてその土を使った作品作りをしたものの一部を初窯に入れてくれるとのことでしたのでOxfordまで、見学を兼ねて行ってきました。








Maybe island.  Faroe 諸島での経験

Salmon dishes disappear from the menu at Umu outside a season of wild Atlantic salmon, English or Welsh, yet in order to meet high demands from European guests, very occasionally only by request, have some delivered from pre-chosen farmers. After many trials and careful consideration, we current use those from the Faroe Islands.
The autonomous country of Danish Kingdom is located between Scotland and Iceland where a warm southern currant and a cold northern current meet, sharing similar characteristic to Japan, for which, as well as for its unique culture of producing meat and seafood based fermented products, I had always had profound curiosity. Situated right in the middle of currant crossing, the islands have close to none annual difference in water temperature, and having the world’s 2nd purest water (1st being Hawaii), making the marine products from the area one of a kind.
A business owner of seafood exporting company, Mr. Marni came to Umu some 4 months ago with his daughter, and we shared heated conversation on factors to degrees of seafood’s freshness and fishing industry in Europe. He insisted if I were to visit the islands, he would let me experience more than 20 flavours I had never tasted before. I could not resist the temptation, I decided to head over there during Thanksgiving holiday with my wife.
Direct flights from London are only available during summer, instead we had a long transiting flight via Copenhagen. Mr. Marni picked us up from the airport, and from the moment on, he became a wonderful guide for the course of our 3 nights & 4 days trip.

On the day of the arrival, my wife and I dined at KOKS, a new branching of Nordic cuisine that perked tremendously few years back. Traditional food culture is still very relevant and pronounced on the islands which is probably why, in comparison to Noma or other Nordic cuisine in Copenhagen, it was more easily comprehensible, and the we enjoyed our supper very much. Especially freshness of sea urchin and langoustine was superb, and a harmony created by combining with fermented product shared similar characteristic to those of Japan or other Asian countries, brought me a familiar feel. We had gibier dish for a meat course, a type of seagull, which nothing like the familiar wild, field-grown birds consumed in Britain, filled with unique minerality from growing by the sea. My wife could only take a small bite for tasting, in fact, the flavour was little too strong, even for me.
On the 2nd day, we firs toured old whale-oil factory, now abandoned. I recalled my childhood, when cod-liver oil was fed to me for vitamins.

Following the visit to the factory, we were picked up at a pier by a langoustine-fisherman who has close knit with Mr. Marni and headed out to the shore. Despite cold temperature, the sea was rather calm and the weather was good considering the nature of islands’ climate, being kind to our trip. The fishing uses a basket with barbed wires, in which pieces of herring and sole are placed as baits. A couple of langoustines were caught in each basket hauled in one after another, alongside with some sole and whelks. Some of those langoustines were very impressive in size.

It was the handling of langoustine more than anything that got my attention. Back in London, live langoustine is delivered in individual Styrofoam box in order to prevent any damage, yet more than half the time arrives in worn out condition. In hands of some traders, lively langoustines caught by a basket are mixed with langoustines in worse condition, picked up by trawlers, after the catch. Even if it wasn’t the case, most times langoustines are stored into a transfer tank once captured until it gets placed in a box upon returning to the dock. Here, each langoustine is carefully placed into an individual box right after the haul, and boxes are transferred and shipped without a further fuss. This protects delicate langoustines, keeping the damage to minimum.
After the fishing, on our way back to the port, the fisherman offered me a piece of dried meat. This is the only food he has while he is out fishing. We came across similar food the night before, and it was explained to us that, unlike any jerky from other countries, the raw goat meat is not cured with any salt and just hanged outside the door to let the ocean breeze dry the meat. A meat from a goat living by the cliff with ocean influence already has strong flavour, and maturing the meat further adds distinct smell, which I probably need good amount of time to get used to. 
As we returned to the land, I described the fisherman’s heartfelt caring and handling for the catch to Mr. Marni, who came to pick us up. He simply replied; “that’s the passion”.
Mr. Marni previously engaged in seafood trading in Greenland, where he realised and became concerned that fantastic marine products from his birthplace did not receive righteous cultural value outside the islands. His passion drove him to set up his own establishment, through which he determined to propagate the real taste of the Faroe Islands in its whole. Mr. Marni mainly delivers live langoustine and sea urchin to the foremost restaurants in America and around Europe.
He particularly puts effort into langoustine and advises all appointed fishermen to carefully pack each langoustine individually right after the catch. He relentlessly continue to lecture on how this specific method can significantly affect its freshness when it reaches the consumers, and making sure raw happy voices of consumers get back to the fisherman in order to gain understandings, consequently enabling to spread the true taste of Faroe. The amazing langoustine at KOKS and its excellent tecture was no coincidence. With an instant instinct, I wanted to see the langoustine on Umu’s menu.
After driving around the island, including his factory, it was time for a first grasp of many great suppers to come at his place.  
The wife and 3 daughters at his home, and a little puppy, all together delivered countless peculiar dishes, one after another, for the next 3 days, turned their home into the world’s best restaurant.
1st dinner at his place
(Juice from a live sea urchin and its eggs)
The sea urchin had purer taste than those used at Umu. The water within the shell had splendid aroma of ocean.
 (Local salmon and fatty tuna sashimi from a Bluefin caught nearby)
Salmon had no hint of farmed detected on the palate, both texture and flavour were extremely close to those of wild ones. Bluefin tuna, most probably due to its bait, had a good amount of fat and unmatching lightness.
 (Langoustine, medium rare, lightly blanched and seared)
A simple taste of joy; purer taste and firmer texture than Scottish ones. Lightly blanched one is my personal favourite.
(Whale meat Tatsuta-age; deep-fried starch coated, seasoned with soy – by my wife).
A flavour that reminds me of my childhood school meal.
(Speciality dessert by the daughters)
A heart-warming taste that made me go on a binge. 

The 3rd day, first went over to see divers in business with Mr. Marni, whose specialty is catching sea urchin. The tide is inevitably high and rough at fishing points located in between long and narrow islands at the crossing of currant, and reaching the points is already quite a work. Nonetheless, the basket was filled with sea urchin and varieties of shellfishes as the diver surfaced. The diving suit, which helps to retain heat in the freezing water, is unique to the island and made of goat’s fur. Soon after we returned to the land, Mr. Marni took out a bag from the car and started setting up all tools and condiments, including plates, knives, soy sauces and even Sansai. In a brizzard, the world’s second best restaurant was assembled right there and then. Cracked open sea urchin, razor clam, etc. directly out of the basket, and washed them down with a dash of soy sauce, I soon forgot the harsh, blasting blizzard. I realised Mr. Marni was also an expert in giving surprises. I had yet to see a dive fishing that catches shellfish one by one with hands outside Japan, and I quickly had newfound respect and gratitude to the divers who gave us such encounters and delicious treats.
We had a quick sightseeing tour around the island, e.g. the Executive Office of the President, then
proceeded to our 2nd supper at his place.

(Two kinds of smoked salmon & smoked cod)
Quality of the salmon was exceptional, giving the smoked salmon another layer of taste.
(Bacon made of subcutaneous fat of whale and dried red meat)
Matured flavour of the salty fat and the smell of the red meat come harmoniously.
(Whale bacon and dried cod)
Texture of dried cod is accented by whale’s fat. Delicious nibble.

(A hang-dried and fermented Alaskan Pollock. Boiled for 30 minutes, accompanied by subcutaneous fat in a sauce made of fermented whale internal fat surrounding guts and butter.  )
While it was still raw and Mr, Marni was preparing the dish, I questioned whether food could actually stink so indescribably. The fermented fat mixed with butter begin to bear the smell of blue cheese. But when everything comes together... unexpectedly delicious! I could not help but asked for a 2nd plate, yet none was left as it was everyone’s favourite dish, and I never got that 2nd plate...

(Atlantic crab from the abyss)
Unfortunately raw, fresh one was unattainable, therefore we settled for a frozen one. Mr. Marni seemed very disappointed. It had stronger unrefined sweetness than brown crab. The fresh one would have been even more outstanding.
The 4th day. The diver siblings who performed sea urchin fishing the day before have doctorate in marine algae, and we headed over to the sister's office for a seminar on a range of algae found around the islands. It was in my deep curiosity how would seaweeds from the Faroe be like, covered in bare rocks with constant harsh impact from the currants, in comparison to Japanese kelp enriched with minerals created in forests that flow into the ocean via river. The flavour was expectedly delicate, could be considered "pure" in a good way, "unsatisfactory" in  another.  My wife is in a business distributing supplements produced with nutrients from algae, and as fellow-professionals, engaged in what seemed like a deeply interesting conversation. I, on the other hand, kept tasting and comparing the kelps, and brainstormed into dishes it could be applied to. 
We headed to a salmon fishery in the afternoon. We do not include salmon dishes in the menu at Umu outside the season of wild salmon. I was aware that the Faroe’s farmed salmon having very high standard in quality, as I would serve farmed salmon from Faroe Islands, only by advanced orders, yet seeing the place where the salmon coming from with own eyes gave me more assurance. Fish tanks at the farm are placed in a strong currant and constantly receive a circulation of fresh water. Needless to say, the water is the highest regarded factor affecting the quality of salmon cultivated there, but in addition, baits are also taken into consideration, using only pellets that caught in coastal water as main ingredient, which prevent the salmon there to build excessive fat nor unattractive smell commonly associated with, making them distinctive from farmed salmon from other locations. Still does not bare same fragrance to those of wild salmon, yet it is the only farmed salmon I trust enough to bring to my mouth.
At this particular fishery, fish tanks are brought in all the way from the shore, and draw fish via water feed pumps. The fish is finished at an end of the pump as it swims up. This way, steps such as scooping with a net or storing in a smaller tank for transport are eliminated, keeping stress factors during the process to a minimum, a matter of quality taking precedence over anything else. In fact, at any stage of distribution line, preserving the quality is regarded as the highest priority, and combined with the factory’s high standard of hygiene, I was very much impressed with whole operation at his factory.
As we finished up the tour of the fishery, Mr. Marni rushed us to his car, cheering; “the best souvenir surfaced!” Later we realised, whale fishing was being performed in his father’s village of residence.
On our way, topics to discuss piled up, i.e. the fact that whale fishing commonly seen as problematic globally; relationships and cultures, including whale fishing, that uniquely ties the Faroe Islands and Japan; etc. I was told only few beaches within the whole islands are blessed with opportunities for whale fishing in winters, occurring only once in a month or even less, thus naturally I did not expect to get the chance during this time around. The road was getting dark, yet Mr. Marni stepped on the wheel to get us there. 
Whales caught at the islands are never used in commercial purposes, rather a long established rule specifies to share evenly within the village, as all crew take part in cornering a whale once surfaces in the shore, which is then instantly killed with a method unique to the islands. Never intentionally seek out for a whale to surface, an opportunity must arises naturally. In the long history of the islands, people survived countless occasion off whales, when supply routes were cut off, both by air or sea, due to the islands’ extreme climatic characters.
As we arrived at the port, we spotted whales already disembarked and lined up with stomachs open in order to lower temperature before dismantling. Mr. Marni shared newly learned information that, from a moment the whale surfacing in the shore to being finished off took only 45 minutes and we were too late to catch the actual action. Looking at the whales being lined up, although I am used to seeing uncountable number of fishes laid in markets, I felt uneasy despite the fact that both are equally living thing. I must admit that it felt hypocritical, which made me put some serious thoughts in.
The experiences I had, thanks to Mr. Marni, truly enriched our trip, moreover the unexpected opportunity to peek into the Faroe’s whale fishing tradition was a wonderful surprise gifted by Mr. Marni’s luck.
The dinner continues at his place on the final day

(Grilled langoustine with a splash of Cognac)
I had ridiculous amount of langoustine over those 3days. My favourite was still the one simply blanched to medium rare.
(Traditional slow-cooked fish dish of the Faroe: Salmon, cod, ocean perch and island potato. )
I do not usually consume farmed salmon, but I munched on significant number of huge slices nonetheless, ocean perch was my favourtie out of the fish selection. Asparagus potato used as a garnish had very distinct flavour and I inhaled so much of it without any seasoning.

(Mama Marni’s speciality dessert – 3 kinds)
The best dessert I have ever tasted! Even better than ones made by renowned French patissier or dolces found at popular cafe in Italy. I do not usually have sweet tooth, yet I could not help but kept asking for more!
Our Faroe trip was blessed with endless hospitality, filled with great experiences, even a tenth of which we could not encounter with just a guidebook in a hand. Mr. Marni promised me more than 20 new flavours, but the number exceeded by far, countless experiences, so extraordinary, yet a little in common with Japan, leaving me a little nostalgia.
We were discussing the Faroe’s colourful weather in his car when, I noticed the road ahead was clouded while snow was seen through a window on the right and sunshine on the left. Walking down a street of the islands, clear sky with sunlight can appear for a moment, and next second could be covered in snow. Some out of already limited number of flights during a day, often cannot land due to a bad timing, and it is not rare to see some planes to turn around or head to another airport. An untouchable land where all plans go ‘unaccordingly’, the Faroe Islands was called “Maybe Island” by British during a war time. The hospitality Mr. Marni had provided me may be the best of my life, in fact, definitely the best of my life! To me, the Faroe Islands is “Definitely Isalnd”!  











車の中でMarniさんとFaroe諸島の天気の話をしていたとき、車の行く先は曇り、右のウィンドから見る景色は雪が降り、左には日が差していました。外を歩いていても太陽光が見えたと思ったら突然の吹雪になったり。一日数便の飛行機もそのタイミングによって着陸が困難になり、引き返したり他の国に行くことも多々あるそう。到着できるかどうかわからない、何をするにも予定が立てられないこの島を戦時中、英国の人々は“Maybe Island”と呼んだそうです。おそらく(Maybe)私には今回Marniさんがしてくれたおもてなしは人生で一番の、いや、間違いなく(Definitely)一番の素晴らしい体験でした。 私にとってFaroe諸島は“Definitely Island”です!