[Event Location] Basque Culinary Center (Spain)
A Japanese cooking class was held on January 23rd, 2019 at the Basque Culinary Center (BCC) in Spain with joint sponsorship by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, All Japan Food Association, and the Japanese Culinary Academy.
Lectures were given by chefs Motoi Kurisu (Kumahiko) and Takuji Takahashi (Kinobu) on “why is Japanese cooking healthy” and “how to draw out ingredients in Japanese cooking.” There were also cooking demonstrations on “how to make soup stock” and “plating up savory custard/how to make yellowtail large sushi rolls.” The participants, who were mainly BCC students, got to taste savory custard and large sushi rolls.
The lectures and cooking demonstrations gave some basic knowledge of Japanese food and food culture, and introduced Japanese ingredients. They also showed off the appeal of Japanese ingredients, such as dried seaweed and fish paste, for which tariffs have been effectively eliminated in February this year by the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Japan and the EU.
In the second half of the event there was a talk show by the two lecturers and BCC’s lecturers, and a discussion on the differences between Japanese and Spanish cooking.
There was also an exhibition of Japanese ingredients in the hall. Many students tried the essential Japanese seasonings, such as rice vinegar and mirin, with great interest.
There were many responses to the survey, including “it was very interesting that Japanese cooking has two important points: ‘balanced meals’ and ‘careful preparation using the ingredient characteristics’,” “I learned a lot in the lecture about soft water being suited to drawing out savory umami flavors based on scientific data,” and “I learned something new and I’d like to learn more about Japanese cooking in the future.”