Dining in a Ryokan
Cook It Raw 2011 - Road to Raw, episode 1
Do you know “Cook it raw”? It’s a laboratory of ideas entirely dedicated to intimate relationships, those which are original and essential between cooking and ecology. It’s a regular meeting between some of the most innovative chefs in the planet, in order to broaden their knowledge of products, flavours, savoir-faire and the culinary traditions of each territory. Created in May 2009 in Copenhagen, on the fringes of the world summit on global warming, this travelling laboratory started off with the discovery of Frioul in Italy, them the very wild Finnish Lapland. Next step: Japan, and, more precisely, Ishikawa Prefecture, a surprising synthesis between the sea and the mountain, tradition and extreme sophistication.
Nespresso is associated once more with the Cook it Raw adventure, melting pot of the cuisine of tomorrow. And we invite you to discover, on screen and in pre-release, the voyage and discoveries which await the chefs. After a short spell in Toyko, to meet their travelling companion Yoshihiro Narisawa (Chef at the restaurant Les Créations de Narisawa), they all head towards the coast of Honshu Island where they are to stay in the heart of the forest in ryokans, these are typical Japanese inns, generally made of wood, bamboo and paper walls. This is an opportunity for the chefs to experience Japanese hospitality at its most traditional. Because staying in a ryokan is an experience in itself.
Often situated in the open air, they favour the feeling of communion with the environment. Relaxation - or perhaps rather concentration? - will without a doubt be amplified by another feature of the ryokan: bathing in pools of steaming water. They have to also familiarise themselves with wearing traditional clothes, drinking sake and dining sitting on the ground on tatamis. During a special dinner, devoted to local specialities and products, the okami-san, the ryokan host, will reveal to them the secrets of each ingredient which makes up the mean. The opportunity to discover that nothing is left to chance, each product, each detail in the presentation counts. Everything is significant: This green leaf which has fallen from the sky which covers the dish? An image which evokes the arrival of Autumn. The shabu shabu - a Japanese fondue where local fish is immersed in a pot of hot broth -, expresses the harmony between the sea and the mountain, the image of the region. A second dinner will show the importance of the containers, considered to beautify a dish and are capable of changing our perception of the taste. Many rituals will deeply inspire the chefs when it is their turn to express in a dish the essence of their experience in Ishikawa.
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