Shizuoka Prefecture is at long last receiving the attention it deserves!
From Monday October 25th through Friday October 29th, Alain Passard will hold no less than 4 dinner shows and one demonstration for professionals in Shizuoka, Hamamatsu and Itoh Cities!
At the official Press Conference inside the Shizuoka Prefecture Hall.
Alain Passard is an establishment in France where he has been awarded the three Michelin Stars for the last 14 years for his Restaurant, Arpège, in Paris.
A few years ago, conscious of environment and health in general, he took a big risk and won the challenge of offering high class gastronomy mainly based on vegetables and fruits.
He has already introduced French gastronomy in Japan on many occasions, but this was the first time he concentrated his visit on Shizuoka Prefecture only!
Suzuki Gakuin, the scene of Alain Passard’s demonstration.
Why did such a celebrated chef choose our Prefecture?
A very simple reason: the quality and variety of Shizuoka Prefecture’s vegetables and fruit had finally reached his ears, and as a true professional chef and a lover of good food he could ignore our region any longer, the more for it that it reminds him of his native Bretagne, another region world-famous for its superlative vegetables and extraordinary seafood.
During the Press Conference, Mr. Passard was the image of a true ambassador with a passion and a warmth that quickly won everybody’s heart. A model of civility without ostentation, he explained his reasons for coming at last to Shizuoka and discover its long hidden treasures.
He personally invited me for a private lunch with his staff and Government officials where he showed an intense interest for all I had the time to tell about my adopted home.
Shizuoka ingredients line-up!
At 14:00 we found ourselves in Suzuki Gakuin Cooking School for a demonstration reserved for paying professionals only.
Although the place was crowded to the very limits, many guests had to wait until the other event, the dinner at Nakajimaya Hotel, to have a chance to witness Mr. Passard’s art.
More than 80 professionals were attending!
Among them, some very famous local chefs from all over the Prefecture!
Participants, however far from the stage, could follow the demonstration from overhead mirrors,
and two live TV screens!
Apart of an official interpreter, Alain Passard had his own two aides on hand, Isabelle Schipp from Alsace and Julien Lebon from Paris, two extremely capable lieutenants than no true chef can do without!
Alain Passard’s was not only a demonstration of his skills and inventiveness, but of the whole concept of preparing food.
First, he insisted on the importance of shopping for ingredients when he chose from the array of vegetables displayed in front of him.
Second, having chosen the ingredients of his fancy, came the moment of intense reflection on what he would create with them. As he so justly explained, a true chef has always his moments of uncertainty he has to overcome before immersing himself in his art.
And then the show finally started in earnest!
A long video might have done a better job but at least let me show you the results I had such a great pleasure to witness!
Except for the butter, milk and salt, all ingredients were from Shizuoka!
We were offered three recipes, all created on the moment!
1) Shizuoka Onions (Fondue) and Mandarines (Confit) with Wasabi and Fresh Peanuts, as appetizers.
For a closer view!
2) Shizuoka Small Turnips and Cherry Tomatoes with Shiitake Mushrooms and Ciboulette Leeks, as a main dish.
3) Shizuoka Melon (Carpaccio) and fresh Ginger with Shishito Peppers and Roquette (Luccola) for dessert!
Did I mention this was a vegetarian delight?
If you have more precise questions about the whole (cooking) process, I’ll be glad to oblige!
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