The joy of Japanese cuisine
Two Michelin-starred Chef Takagi Kazuo is the latest celebrity culinary star to touch down at The Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention & Spa, returning to the kingdom once again by popular demand.
The Japanese chef will be meeting and greeting diners at the award-winning Sato restaurant next Wednesday until October 27 with a few special surprises, including prawn and beef delights.
“I will be preparing some new dishes which I hope our guests will enjoy” he told GulfWeekly. “I’m really excited to be working again with such a great team in Bahrain.”
His own restaurant is located at Ashiya, a city in between Osaka and Kobe, and has held two Michelin stars since 2010. It is best known for ‘kyo-ryori’ cuisine – a style of cooking that elevates Japanese ingredients into exquisitely plated dishes imbued with cultural references and a sense of the seasons.
He admits that the recognition has given him an opportunity to cook all over the world, which he relishes, adding local vegetables to his creations. “If I go to the market and find interesting ingredients, I buy them even if it’s the first time I have used them,” he said.
“My maternal grandfather was a chef, but when I was young he was already retired. He lived in Tokyo, so every summer holiday I would stay with him for about four weeks. I loved to visit him as we would go fishing and he would cook for me. He would take me to the market and buy ingredients. I loved this food so that’s why I decided to be a chef.
“I knew some basics because my mother taught Japanese cuisine for housewives and I often helped her. Cooking for me is an easy way to make people happy. My guests thank me every time. It’s the best job!
“Japan is surrounded by sea, so that means we are spoilt for choice when it comes to seafood. The freshness means that we can eat it raw and another special thing about Japanese cuisine is the technique used to prepare food. Learning how to balance the taste and timing is what makes it special.”
It’s just over a year since his last visit to Bahrain. Guests were presented with a taste of true Kyoto cuisine, which is rare even in Japan nowadays, since its preparation is complicated. Chef Takagi is determined to continue its long history.
Delights he has in store for Bahrain this time round will include the creation of a Zenzai red bean soup, an amuse bouche - a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre, plus a new execution of the prawn tempura, featuring a special rice and potato ingredient that makes prawns ‘incredibly crispy’. “It will be really tasty too because I’m also preparing some special seasonings and spices,” chef promised.
He will also be preparing a beef creation, turning a simmering dish into a steak-style sensation.
Chef Takagi’s famous offerings also include grilled cod soup with yuzu pop rice, sushi bonbon, shrimp and corn karage and Wagyu beef teriyaki.
His creations will be available as an a la carte selection or a seven-course dégustation menu, presented in his renowned artistic style.
“We are delighted to have Chef Takagi Kazuo return to our Sato Japanese Restaurant,” said Charbel Hanna, the hotel’s executive assistant manager. “In line with our passion of serving our guests a true culinary journey, Chef Takagi will definitely serve up an unforgettable dining experience.”
For more information call 17713000.
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Stanley Louis Szecowka
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