HÀ NỘI — Goodwill Ambassador of Japanese Cuisine Tomisawa Hirokazu is in Việt Nam to implement his mission to transmit the allures of Japanese food to Vietnamese people.
During his six-day visit, from July 24 to 29, through three cities – Hà Nội, Hải Phòng, and Hạ Long - Hirokazu, who is also President of the Association of Tokyo Chefs, has been conducting a series of culinary activities with the theme “Taste of Japan”.
|From left, Japanese Ambassador to Việt Nam Yamada Takio; Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Tạ Quang Đông; Goodwill Ambassador of Japanese Cuisine Tomisawa Hirokazu, and chef Nguyễn Bá Phước at the launching ceremony of “Taste of Japan” in Hà Nội. — VNS Photo Thúy Hằng|
Initiated in 2015 by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries with the purpose of promoting Japanese cuisine abroad, the Goodwill Ambassador's activities include providing consultation from the perspective of a professional chef to all those who enjoy Japanese food abroad.
Hirokazu is among nearly 200 people in more than 56 countries and territories receiving this title.
At a meeting with the media in Hà Nội on Monday, the Goodwill Ambassador said that he had a chance to taste some delicious Vietnamese dishes.
|Performers present a taiko drum performance at the launching ceremony of “Taste of Japan” in Hà Nội. — VNS Photo Thúy Hằng|
“The spices and cooking techniques of those dishes have given me inspiration and ideas for new food creations that I will design after coming back to Japan,” he said.
“Japanese people have shown a great interest in flavourful yet healthy Vietnamese food, so I think they will also greet my new creations which will be a fusion between Japanese and Vietnamese,” he added.
Hirokazu said that his mission assigned by the Japanese Government was to promote his mother country’s cuisine, but at the same time, he knew by himself that he would also have the duty to introduce Vietnamese to Japanese people.
|Head chef Kyo Nguyễn of Japanese restaurant chain Hatoyama (centre) presents a bluefin tuna cutting performance. — VNS Photo Thúy Hằng|
Speaking at the launching ceremony of the “Taste of Japan” in Hà Nội on Monday, Japanese Ambassador to Việt Nam Yamada Takio said that in terms of specific diversity, Japanese and Vietnamese cuisines share many similarities such as ingredients receiving preferential treatment of nature, seasonal fruits, and events held throughout the year.
“It can be said that gastronomical culture is one of the foundations of the developing Japan-Việt Nam relationship.
“Today's event is among the activities held on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Việt Nam. As the Ambassador of Japan, I am very pleased that this event helps to promote further the Japanese culinary culture,” he said.
Also at the launching ceremony, Head chef Kyo Nguyễn of Japanese restaurant chain Hatoyama, an excellent student of Tomisawa, presented an amazing bluefin tuna cutting performance. The gigantic 111kg high-prized tuna was imported from Japan and cut into parts like otoro, known in English as fatty tuna, and chu-toro, semi-fatty tuna which is the most delicious part that ends up as sashimi.
|Goodwill Ambassador of Japanese Cuisine Tomisawa Hirokazu and Chef Nguyễn Bá Phước slice sashimi from the fresh bluefin tuna. — VNS Photo Thúy Hằng|
Other special guests attending the ceremony include the Board Chairman of Miresto Culinary Company, Economics PhD Đinh Minh, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Tạ Quang Đông, and Chef Nguyễn Bá Phước (aka Fuku Nguyễn).
Phước is the first-ever Vietnamese and the ninth foreign chef in the world to be granted the gold “Taste of Japan” badge by the Japanese Government.
According to the Japanese Ambassador to Việt Nam Yamada Takio, a total number of 2,422 chefs around the world have been awarded the badge, of which, only 22 received gold ones.
This is a qualification exam for foreign chefs to cook traditional Japanese dishes organised by the Traditional Japanese Culinary Academy, under the Department of Traditional Cuisine Conservation and Development of the Japanese Government.
“The gold badge that chef Nguyễn Bá Phước received has proved the enthusiasm and efforts that Goodwill Ambassador Hirokazu has devoted to transmitting his knowledge to the young generations,” he said.
A special kaiseki menu featuring intricate dishes prepared by Goodwill Ambassador Hirokazu will be presented during his visit to Việt Nam at the Hatoyama restaurant chain. — VNS