2016年8月30日火曜日


Food Design Studio “Nijinohashi”

Creator of Happy Dining  & Personal Chef

Mr. Naoki Ishibashi







Why did you decide to work as a professional chef?


My mother was not good at using all the food ingredients when she cooked dinner, and I felt it is a waste to discard left over vegetables.

I arranged and cooked with these left over ingredients when I was young.

Later, I started working in the society and I had a period of ill health. Even this period, cooking was the only thing I continued. That is why I realized that cooking must be something important existing in the deep bottom of myself.

After this period, I cooked pepperoncino with a red sea bream soup stock for my girlfriend. This made her pleased more than ever and I was really happy to see her smile as well.

I think these accumulation of small experience changes someone’s choice significantly.



When I was working for a big firm in the completely different industry type, I just felt I am just a part of big gear wheel. A sense of existence was sparse and I was not sure what was the purpose to live in this world. However, working in the cooking field gave me solid sense of living physically.



As through training in the ten different types of restaurants, I have realized that I prefer making something for someone’s intention so that I can create with my own idea rather than just repeating same recipes over and over. 

Then I decided to be a personal chef and visited many houses. This experience made me realize that Japanese home-style dishes are not in a good condition.

There is no more “Home-style dishes” in Japan. Most of families spend their meals with food additive and pre-made food.

They just do not have time and good education. For me, it looks like “Home-style dishes products produced by the big enterprises”.

It is a shame that Japanese education does not teach a skill to be able to cook ourselves. I think this is a serious problem in Japanese society.





Therefore, my work field is shifting towards to a designer for a dining table culture from a personal chef. I counsel people who have difficulty preparing meal at home and are not sure what to eat every day. I support the process and development to create a happy dining.





What is the difference teaching as a dining table designer compare to other cooking classes?


I joined several cooking classes, and they were more like enjoying the cooking scene with other people through learning recipes. They are rather entertainment type of cooking classes. I think it is fine to enjoy them, but I felt something is wrong. Because they are considered as predominant cooking classes by most of people.



When you think about the real life, people have to go through many steps like going for grocery shopping, precooking some ingredients, and serving on the plates. But many of the cooking classes do not cover all of these steps but teach only one part. That is why people have difficulty becoming good at cooking in the real life.

When I teach cooking, I would like to see the entire scene and want my students to use the skill and knowledge in the real life. The entire scene could be not only cooking but their life style and social circumstance.



In my cooking class, I teach entire steps including picturing the idea, choosing good ingredients, shopping, and serving on the dish. It is important to teach the concept of cooking not some recipes.



Many people misunderstand recipes, and this is the reason people feel uncomfortable when they cook. A recipe itself is not a textbook to guide you to be able to replicate a dish exactly the same as a recipe. It is almost impossible to make the same thing since the type of ingredients are different depending on where they grew up.

“Let’s re-create exactly same as the recipe!!” is desipience.

Recipes are unnecessary, and they are just references. If you want to be good at cooking, you have to be able to arrange the ingredients around you promptly. That is why I do not teach recipes.



There is an excitement of science experiment dispensing ingredients with your idea. I carefully choose the vegetables grew up with natural cultivation and share information of these shops.

Lessons are monthly and a year course, and each lesson takes about five hours. Therefore, my students have to set up a day to spend entire their day for just cooking once a month. My studio is very comfortable place holding about seven students.





What message would you like to send through food?


I would like to send a message of being free for not only cooking but for a life itself. It is fine to be yourself which means it is fun to choose and combine together with your idea. I learned this from my experience of straining, but I would like everyone to realize this before being like me.



You have mentioned that “Japanese home-style dishes are not in a good condition”. What did you see in the families you have visited?


Most of people did not know the information of food additive in the ingredients sold in the grocery stores and convenience stores.

There are people who do not have a time for cooking at home because of their tight work schedule. There are also many people who have difficulty seasoning. The homemaking course in the school education is a bottom cause. They do not teach necessary method of cooking to survive but rather depending on the food culture of each family. The concept of “The kitchens are for women and men go out for work” is strongly left in Japanese culture even in the year of 2016.   



It sounds like we need to change homemaking course in the school education. What would you like to do about this issue?


There are two things that I can do.

One is diffusing “basic rule of good taste” and the other is creating grand design of Japanese homemaking course.


As through learning “basic rule of good taste”, you can understand the root of taste so that you can create delicious dish. It delivers you confidence without depending on recipes. I hope Japanese education would consider including “basic rule of good taste” in the future. Then, it can take the burden off from cooking and leads to enjoying the whole process.

This is all about directing people’s attention to food ingredients and national issues controlling basic structure of industry. Eventually people can reach to the deep end where all the lives are connected. Then, we can finally understand the meaning of “itadakimasu” which is the word we say before the meal to show our appreciation for eating lives.





What do you hear from your students after your classes?


Family member told the student that her flavor on the meals got settled.

The stress level of cooking is reduced.

I can do freely!!

These are the comments I got so far.

It seems like everyone get relief from the recipes and they started feeling something other than cooking as well.



Japanese food is very popular all over the world. How do you understand Japanese food?


Basically, food culture is influenced by the site location, nationality, community, life style related to the jobs. As for the site location, the food processing technique is developed in inland. Because of the environment, Japanese food is rather simple and we can taste direct ingredients. Japanese people have a mind of living together with nature, there are different food ingredients and menus depending on the seasons. Many elements compose the food culture like a spider web.



 

What would you like to work on in the future?


I am currently working as a personal chef and a dining designer, but I want to expand my carrier in the education field. I want to focus on teaching the importance of food while I brush up my skill as a professional chef.

It would be best if I could deliver “basic rule of good taste” all over the world by 2021. As for the first step, we are thinking about publishing an illustrated book for children to tell a story about “basic rule of good taste”.

 

Please send a last message to the audience.


Do you eat properly every day?


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