********** 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, 29 February 2012

Truffle Dinner トリュフディナー

On Thursday 9th of February, the Marlon Abela Restaurants Corporation (MARC),  Umu’s parent company, hosted a truffle dinner for 70 of our most valued regular guests at one of our sister restaurants, called Cassis Bistro. The evening was to have every restaurant in the group create one dish to be served as a course.
Umu, the only restaurant preparing Japanese cuisine in the group, was responsible for preparing first course, after much consideration, deliberation and discussions with the owner, we created a selection of 3  appetisers that would be served as one course.
Foie gras custard, foie gras softened with stock and egg which is made into a custard paste, served with sea urchin and truffle sauce.
Seared fatty tuna with sautéed foie gras in white miso Dengaku and thick truffle sauce with poached egg, topped with slices of truffle.
Finally, julienne truffle served with very lightly grilled seared scallop and Japanese herbs, dressed in truffle and shiso dressing.
To cook and serve simmering hot food together with cold dish on a same plate, especially in a kitchen with limited space, was a little trouble-some, however the service went smoothly, thanks to the supports given by all the staff from all the sister restaurants.
The next course was simple Lobster  and truffle pasta, prepared by  Yvonnic Lalle of Mortons Members club followed by roasted veal prepared by David Escoba of Cassis Bistro, both served with plenty of truffle sauce and shaved truffle. Next course was truffle sandwiched in Brie, and at the end of the meal we served 3 types of truffle deserts with petit four. For the ultimate in decadence, each table had a plate of truffles with slicer, allowing the guests to enjoy all the dishes the way they like. Also thanks to sommeliers for carefully selecting the wines to go with each course, the truffle dinner achieved great success.

UMUの属するMark Restaurants が主催するトリュフディナーが29日、姉妹店のビストロ、Cassisで行われました。

Friday, 10 February 2012

“Japan Night” WEF in Davos ジャパンナイト ダボス会議

This year’s “Japan Night”, an event hosted by the Japan Cabinet office as a part of Annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, was planned and produced by Orange & Partners and led by its CEO Mr. Kundo Koyama, and I was honourably chosen to be executive supervisor for food offering.

As a result of great cooperation with Japanese restaurant Bimi in Zurich and a team of chefs from Tohoku, who have been supporting and aiding in the  recovery of the prime industry in the stricken area of Great East Japan Earthquake, we successfully welcomed over 600 guests at the party. Mr & Mrs Nishihama from Bimi, who with a similar motto, believes in  delivering experiences of Japanese culture and food to Europeans on a daily basis, have given us valuable assistance together with their staff, which I cannot thank  for enough. Mr. Okuda, a chef of Italian restaurant “Al-che-cciano”, and Mr. Itoh, a chef of “L’aureole”, from Tohokhu and their respective teams beautifully demonstrated the fineness of Japanese culinary art and they did so with many restrictions.
As for myself, despite arriving in Zurich smoothly and peacefully, since I set my foot in there I have immediately start devoting all my time to food supervision as well as flower arrangement and improving other aspects of the party possibly to appeal to  Japanese authenticity.  Out of all, I was most grateful how guests showed their interests towards the sesame centre-piece my team put together for this event.
Apart from food, we greeted the guests with speech from Mr. Ken Watanabe, a renowned actor, and a performance from Ms. Shishu, a calligraphy artist who designed Umu logo who I finally had an opportunity to introduce myself to.
From planning to cleaning up, from the staff at actual site to sponsors behind the scenes, it is impossible to keep track how many people were involved, however I definitely felt everyone’s passion  every step of the way. We all aimed  to support Japan in their current situation, and worked hard together following this event’s theme “Light of Japan”, I cannot deny that I was truly touched by this “light”  and I am very proud of the outcome.

毎年スイスのダボスで開かれるWorld Economic Forum の催しの一部として、ジャパンナイトという日本が主催するパーティーが開かれます。今年は小山薫堂さん  率いるオレンジアンドパートナーズが企画をされ、料理のプロデュースを依頼されました。

昨年までパーティーの料理を作られていたチューリッヒの日本料理店BIMIさん、東北の被災地から、現地の第一次産業を応援し続けている東北チームと、当店が協力し合い、大盛況で600人以上の来場者をお迎えしました。同じヨーロッパの地で日々の営業を続け、日本の食を海外の人に楽しんでもらうことに尽力しているBIMIさんの西浜さんご夫妻をはじめとしたスタッフの方々の全面的な協力と努力には頭が下がる思いでした。イタリア料理Al-che -ccianoの奥田政行シェフ、フランス料理L’aureoleの伊藤勝康シェフをはじめとした東北チームは多くの制約の中で日本の食をアピールする素晴らしい料理を作られていました。



 計画から後片付けまで、現場にいたスタッフから、彼らを送り出したそれぞれの団体で関わった人数は数え切れないほどですが、端々でそれらの方々の情熱と努力を感じることが出来、今の日本を応援するという同じ目標に向かって頑張ったことでイベントのテーマであるLight of Japanという日本の光、素晴らしさ、底力を感じることが出来て感動しました。