********** 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 ------------

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Flower arrangement 花を生けています。

Flower for UMU Christmas
Once on my way back from fishing, I saw this charming flower on side walk, I was so fascinated by it that I could not help myself but to bring it back to a flower artist who was then arranging flower for Kiccho, a restaurant in Kyoto where I spent years training as a chef. I had no knowledge about flowers until then, but when I saw how the flower artist lit up by the simple flower I brought, I became drawn to the world of flower arrangement and I started to try learning by assisting her. Her style of arrangement was famous for its naturalness and many audiences made similar comments that “the flowers bring a refreshing breeze into the room”. Having to be able to practice in such a privileged position, I was taught how to cherish and bring out each flower’s individuality, but in an unobtrusive way, and on a few occasions, I was given the chance to decorate in the main room. At Kiccho, alongside chef training and ceramic art, I enjoyed picking rare wild flowers and cultivating my own in my spare time. At Umu, I do flower arrangements myself, aiming to provide a great ambience to accompany the food, it is a shame I cannot go pick suitable wild flowers with my own hands like I used to, due to geographical difficulties. Selection of flowers, style of arrangement, environment and culture, in the atmosphere where all of the above is diverse, I am trying my best to provide a great Umu experience to every  guest.
Recently, the staff in flower shop nearby have begun to understand my taste in flowers, I am hoping that it will help create the arrangements with more varieties of seasonal flowers.

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