News Studio

October 19, 2017

Future Top Chefs Visit Japan - A Culinary Adventure

Fresh sashimi. Handmade soba noodles. Slow-simmered dashi. The demand for authentic, traditional Japanese cuisine is rapidly spreading around the world.

As Japan's rich culinary traditions and dishes are increasingly becoming points of focus with young chefs pursuing advanced culinary arts, Suntory, a company deeply rooted in Japanese culture and cuisine, is thrilled to kick off another year of partnership with The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). This partnership is one of Suntory's initiatives to contribute to U.S. society by enriching the culinary landscape and culture in America.

Last year, we joined forces with the CIA to launch the Institute's new Advanced Cooking: Japanese Cuisine course, which allows students to learn all about Japanese food culture, ingredients, and techniques through an immersive semester in Japanese cuisine. This past September, we kicked off year two - this time taking the students on an added 10-day immersive culinary tour of Japan ahead of the fall semester.

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Starting off in Tokyo - the city with the most Michelin-star restaurants in the world for 10 years straight (as of 2017) - the CIA students were warmly welcomed to Japan by our president and CEO, Takeshi Niinami, at Suntory's headquarters.

_A4A5336.jpgFrom there, they were off to experience the hustle and bustle of the famous Tsukiji fish market, before engaging in demonstrations on the art of making soba noodles, nigiri, and dashi.

The students traveled to taste and experience various parts of Japan. In Fukuoka, they visited the Nakamura Culinary School to dive into all things "washoku" - the art of traditional Japanese food. In Kyoto, the students learned and experienced an authentic "kaiseki" dinner - a traditional multi-course Japanese meal that is tailored to the season. They also toured vegetable farms and visited the 400+ year-old Nishiki Market in Kyoto.

During their time in Osaka, we welcomed the students to the Yamazaki Distillery for a behind-the-scenes look at how our Yamazaki whisky is expertly crafted and aged over time, along with visits to the barrel storage rooms, and of course, tastings! Their trip concluded with a visit to the Tsuji Culinary Institute, a tour of the Kuromon Market, and plenty of opportunities to enjoy and explore the many tastes of Japan.

Yamazaki barrels.JPGThrough this trip, the students had the opportunity to not only study and experience the techniques of Japanese cuisine, but to also learn about the profound history that has shaped today's Japanese culinary culture. We are delighted to be able to give the top chefs of tomorrow the opportunity to better understand the practices and techniques of Japanese cuisine and culture as they seek to bring authentic Japanese cuisine to the United States and around the world.

Stay tuned for updates from the students throughout their exciting semester of cooking and learning ahead! Learn more about Suntory's CSR initiatives here.