Japanese Spring Dinner with Hiroko Shimbo

April 22, 2009

by Veronica Chan

Japanese Spring Dinner

fava bean soup, miso lamb, tofu salad

Hiroko Shimbo

Last Friday night, I got the opportunity to attend a Japanese Spring Cooking class taught by my friend Hiroko Shimbo. Our mutual friend Matt introduced us, inviting us both for a night of tapas, which eventually led to lengthy discussions about Barcelona, debates about short grain vs. long grain rice, and ultimately an invitation for me to attend Hiroko’s class at the French Culinary Institute’s International Culinary Center.

Having left straight after work to attend Hiroko’s class, I joined the rest of the class, which had already started. I immediately recognized Hiroko’s signature bob and distinctively blunt bangs behind the prep table upon entering the kitchen. Hiroko teaches her classes using traditional Japanese methods and recipes while using local and seasonal ingredients. Donning blue aprons and chef hats, all the students gathered around the demonstration table as Hiroko led us through each recipe, explaining each ingredient and technique. We started with the basics, making kombu dashi (kelp stock), then advanced to more difficult dishes with tasks such as poaching fish and frying tempura. Charged with glutamate, which produces a deep Umami flavor, kombu dashi plays a central role in Japanese cuisine and was a key component in multiple dishes for our Japanese Spring dinner.

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Bravo! A New Generation of Asian Chefs Gets the Spotlight

April 15, 2008

By Wendy Chan

The 2008 Asia Society’s Asian Food Series, co-presented by Savory Productions, Inc., kicked off to a sensational start this spring with their first program held on April 2nd in New York titled Bravo! A New Generation of Asian Chefs Gets the Spotlight.

The popular Bravo reality series “Top Chef”, along with other food shows on both the big and small screens have fueled the interest of bright and talented young people everywhere to pursue a food industry career. Such popular shows have taken audiences to the “back of the house,” sharing some of the drama that really happens in the kitchen every day, and the dynamics of different personalities and cultures in a business that depends on team work.

With the new crop of eager and energetic chefs graduating from cooking schools across the nation, we finally have some fresh faces that draw national attention to the accomplishments of Asian chefs. This program introduced some of these bright, rising stars, who talked about their responsibilities, challenges and aspirations including how to balance cooking in the kitchen with appearing in front of the camera.

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