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Tableware at the heart of culinary creation

Cook It Raw 2011 - Road to Raw, episode 3

They come from the four corners of the world: New York, Tokyo, London, Sao Paulo, Paris, Turin, Menton, Copenhagen…They comprise the greatest chefs in the gastronomic world. However, far from resting on their laurels, their reputation, their style, they have chosen to regularly rediscover a theme which is important to them: the natural and essential link between cooking and the environment, flavour and knowledge.

From this common interest was created a group, a movement, a quest: “Cook It Raw”, or an investigation about a type of cooking which is “raw”, wild, respectful of the seasons, close to nature and men.

A movement which is so close to Nespresso’s values, that the brand is once again accompanying the Cook It Raw chefs on the trail for enduring and responsible gastronomy.

The first land for exploration and discover, Denmark, was followed by a winter trip to Italy and an unprecedented Indian summer in Lapland. The Japanese autumn colours await our globe trotting chefs, who will touch down in Tokyo in mid-November before going on to Ishikawa prefecture, on the east coast of the country.

The discovery of mountain plants, traditional lodgings in a ryokan, or responsible fishing in Toyama Bay will not be the only notable discoveries during this journey to the land of the rising sun. Because these specialists in tastes, these professionals of contents, are going to be confronted with magicians with containers. Ishikawa prefecture is actually known for the subtle use of tableware.

The lacquers from the Noto peninsula, or even the fine china of Kutani are particularly sought after in Japan and the Utatsuyama craft workshop brings together some of the greatest Japanese artists in these fields. The camera only allows us a short visit. It’s there that the chefs are going to initiated into the perfect agreement which can exist between a container and contents. Around fifteen of the craftsmen at Utatsuyama have been asked to create a dish which is a perfect symbiosis with the culinary universe of each chef.

To suit the very mental cooking of Massimo Bottura, the chef of Osteria Francescana in Modena, the young Erika Asana has conceived a dish on transparent glass. Square at the base, with stripes across it, then cut and distorted to give an impression of a wave. The result is astonishingly close to the creations of Massimo Bottura, who we know is particularly aware of contemporary art.

Though some photos of the dishes of each chef have guided the artists, Shohei Yokoyama, author of a sublime bowl-vase made from broken glass, intended to present the cooking of Danish chef René Redzepi, admits that he has also be inspired by…the music of Miles Davis.

Nevertheless, the soft shapes and the shell like pearly reflections of Shohei Yokoyama’s dish, will, without a doubt, influence the composition that René Redzepi will serve in the final dinner.

After all, the aim of the exercise is to cook the essence of Ishikawa. And the earth, the eye, the taste, the touch and the feel are inseparable.

Ishikawa Cook It Raw report

Cook It Raw 2011 - Road to Raw

Ishikawa Cook It Raw report

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