David Chang and Tokyo

Chef David Chang has a love affair for Tokyo and he should. He is responsible for bringing awareness of ramen to America. I remember returning to the states after living in Tokyo in the late 90’s and it was impossible to convince people that real ramen and cup-o-noodles aren’t not the same.  Now when I return to the states people want to drag me to their favorite ramen shop.

Tokyo is a food lovers city and yes it does have the largest amount of Michelin starred restaurants in the world and Tsukiji Market is great! I was living about a 10 minute walk from the market and would fight the crowds to get great seasonal fish and vegetables.  A lot of people don’t realize that they sell more that just fish.  http://www.citymarketcuisine.com/food-blog/tsukiji-fish-market

A big thank you for noticing their convenient stores, which are nothing like the ones in the states. I love going into the stores in the wintertime, as you enter you are welcomed with the aroma of oden. 

Fast food is better, it’s not thrown together and tossed in a box. It is prepared properly and placed into position and carefully put together and presented to the customer.

There are bad restaurants in Tokyo, just like any city, it isn’t perfect,                          (http://www.citymarketcuisine.com/food-blog/2014/9/6/my-least-favorite-restaurants-in-tokyo-havana). Most of them serve non Japanese cuisine and can fool some customers, who don’t know the cuisine.

The real reason why Tokyo is such a great food city isn’t the city, but the standards of the people who live in.  Yes, Japan has a different work mentality than the states, but the customers also have different standards. Now that I am in Los Angeles, I often find myself saying, “This would not be acceptable in Tokyo”.

It’s no secret of how they do this, it’s pride for themselves to do the best job, respect for the ingredients and all the time knowing that they have some of the most demanding customers that expect the best quality for the price and if not delivered, they’ll see it as an insult to them as a customer and will not return. 

For me, it’s disappointing to make a nabe with seasonal ingredients and dashi, only to watch people obliterate it with a dose of siracha before even tasting it. Food starts with the ingredients and the chefs, but it needs the development of the customer’s palate to reward the chef and the restaurant and in return the ingredients.



Anthony Bourdain and Japan

Recently, I read an article about Anthony Bourdain and his impressions of Japan. It was interesting to read this article from the ‘Bad boy’ of the American culinary scene, who got his start in culinary stardom by first writing about the real kitchen environment, then he got his own show, traveling around the world.

Tsukiji Market - Follow Up

It’s been two years since I last wrote about Tsukiji Market and a lot has happen since then, unfortunately most of it is bad. If you have been following Japanese news the conditions of the new market are anything but acceptable and it should come a little to no surprise since it was made aware that the new location was being built on a man-made island that was used as a dumping ground for toxic waste.

It's all about Limes

Limes have been in the news a lot recently, not because of the flavor or their popularity, especially in the summer months, but because of their price.

I have been hearing about “lime apocalypse” for sometime now, with price reaching as high as 90 cents each.

It's all about Kabocha

This great squash is versatile and delicious and a symbol of the autumn season.

 The most classic way you will find kabocha in Japanese cuisine is in tempura and simmered dishes.  Just roasting it in the oven with a little sea salt is also a great way to enjoy kabocha, but in our episode  of kabocha the chef decided to use it in a ravioli.

It's all about Christmas in Japan

Well, it’s Christmas time in Japan and although Japanese people don’t celebrate Christmas in the traditional manner, they do celebrate it.  The city is alive with Christmas music and people are lining up for hours to look at the holiday illumination.

Where do people in Japan go for their Christmas dinner?

City Market Cuisine

City Market Cuisine is a video blog and blog with two different approaches. 

The first, is all about  the ingredients and the second is all about the preparation. With City Market Cuisine the ingredients are the star and they are given the cinematic respect that they deserve as you are guided visually through the preparation of each ingredient