Tokyo New Wave: 31 Chefs Defining Japan's Next Generation, with Recipes

Tokyo New Wave: 31 Chefs Defining Japan's Next Generation, with Recipes

by Andrea Fazzari

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399579127
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 03/13/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 362,788
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Based in Tokyo, ANDREA FAZZARI is a photographer and writer who specializes in portraiture, travel, and the culinary world. Fazzari was chosen as one of "30 Photographers to Watch" by Photo District News in 2004. Her editorial and advertising clients include Travel + Leisure, Departures, Saveur, Cathay Pacific Airlines, and Four Seasons Hotels. Visit tokyonewwave.com to learn more.

Read an Excerpt

INTRODUCTION 

Above all, this is a book of portraits, visual and written, of thirty-one chefs: thirty men and one woman. 

It is a book about personality, identity, feeling, emotion, food, and Japan itself. 

These chefs share their lives, their city, their country, and their humanity with me through the medium of food. Dining at their restaurants is never just about food; it is an accumulation of countless aspects that come together in the final expression on the plate, in hospitality, in service, in decor. 

Food is at the center of culture—inherent in it is ceremony, politics, health, tradition, art, pleasure, satiation, agriculture, storytelling, and science. It is life itself. For many of these chefs, this is the first time they are part of a book, the first time they are even photographed or written about in this way, let alone by a foreigner. I am privileged to learn about these people, and privileged to spend time with them. I feel a great sense of honor and responsibility. This project is personal and has filled me with emotion, as does Japan itself. 

In a country where craftsmanship, hospitality, and attention to detail are an art form, it is here in Tokyo that I feel drawn; it is here that I feel compelled to live, learn, explore, and understand. Both tradition and innovation are alive and well here, and it is this mix that is utterly compelling and vibrant. 

Many in this newest generation of established Tokyo chefs are quite different in their attitudes and approach to dining than chefs were just ten years ago; as a group, they are much more open and less strict or mysterious than their predecessors. Japan is still a country not only deeply entrenched in local culinary tradition, but also fascinatingly influenced by other cultures, perhaps more so now than ever. Many chefs of this generation have lived abroad and are as consumed by social media as people are anywhere else; they are curious, ambitious, funny, warm, exacting, confident, sometimes complicated, and unsure. 

Many are good friends, and if not, they at least know of each other, as they are part of a rather small community within a vast city. Their precision and pride, their sense of honor and dedication to their craft, their grace and the manner in which they manifest who they are and what it means to be Japanese, is, to me, an unparalleled way of existing in the world. Any chef who has never been to Japan, anyone who is fascinated by food but who has never been to Japan, is simply missing out. He or she is unknowingly unaware of a whole universe that embodies the epitome of gastronomy, where the array of flavors, of techniques, of ideas, and of ways of cooking, thinking, and behaving, are on some other sublime plane separate from the rest of the planet. I came to live here amidst all of this, amidst all the countless details, in appreciation of the millions of people who notice and value them as much as I do. Through its chefs I am learning about Japan and understanding how life is defined here. It is an intoxicating, magical, and enigmatic journey of exhilarating discovery. Although I accept that I can never and will never fully understand most of what it means to be Japanese even if I were to live here for a lifetime, I am swept up in its way of being, in its extraordinary style and approach to life, and its unique relationship with food.

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