Akiko Katayama, the host of Japan Eats, is not only interested in educating New Yorkers and Americans about traditional Japanese cuisine, but is also passionate about exploring unexpected and inspiring cross-cultural exchanges between American and Japanese cuisine. In her podcast, she seeks to pin down what makes Japanese food and culinary techniques unique, as well as what makes them universally appealing and adaptable to creative chefs around the world.
Akiko has talked to people who are equally passionate about this topic at home in New York and across the country, including the author of the popular blog TokyoManhattan, the owner of a sake brewery in Brooklyn, a Southern chef who starting incorporating Japanese flavors into his food after learning more about his wife’s heritage, and the owner of a modern Nikkei Peruvian restaurant about his relationship to this niche but growing global cuisine.
Korin, the proud sponsor of Japan Eats, shares Akiko’s cross-cultural approach to sharing Japanese traditions. Their unique knives and tableware are not just for Japanese restaurants. Their knives and tableware bring out the best qualities of food from every culture and fit into every restaurant – from French to Pan-Asian to American, and that is why they are located in New York City – where people from every country in the world come to eat! Korin’s unique store in Tribeca, Manhattan is home to perhaps the most extensive collection of Japanese chef knives in the world – including Japan – plus the rarest natural sharpening stones and exquisitely designed tableware. You can also view their products online here.
Japan Eats: What Makes Japanese Cuisine Unique?: Akiko's guest is Massud Ghaussy who has a Japanese food and restaurant blog on Instagram under TokyoManhattan. His posts not only describe restaurants he has visited, but also include many other elements behind the dishes, such as history, culture, cooking methods. He appeared on Episode 125, 136 and 152 and shared his favorite Japanese chefs and restaurants in Paris, NY and in Tokyo as well as sushi restaurants in NY and Tokyo.
Japan Eats: Kato Sake Works: Brewing Sake in Brooklyn: Akiko's guest is Shinobu Kato who is the owner and brewer of Kato Sake Works in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Shinobu soft-opened his sake brewery in March 2020 after several years of dreaming and careful planning while working as an IT project manager at a major corporation in the US. In this episode, we will discuss how Shinobu got into sake, his life philosophy that prompted him to a new career, and the challenges he has been facing in making Japanese sake abroad.
Japan Eats: Southern American Plates Inspired by Japanese Cuisine: Akiko's guest is Marc Krampe who is the chef and owner of Southern Hospitality Kitchens in Lafayette, Louisiana. Marc has a unique relationship with Japanese cuisine through his wife’s heritage. His interest in Japanese food has developed over time and now he beautifully incorporates Japanese and Southern American elements in his dishes. Marc is also devoted to sustainability. In this episode, we will discuss Marc’s unique family background, how he studied Japanese cooking, and his efforts to be local, sustainable and global at the same time.
Japan Eats: My Take on Nikkei Cuisine: Akiko's guest is Erik Ramirez, who is the chef and owner of the modern Peruvian restaurant Llama Inn, the casual Peruvian spot Llamita, and the modern Nikkei Peruvian restaurant Llama San. Peruvian cuisine is a hot genre in the culinary world right now. As you may know, there are Peruvian citizens of Japanese ancestry called Nikkei who have influenced Peruvian cuisine over the last century. And Erik is of Nikkei descent. Nikkei cuisine is getting attention globally too. For example, Ferran and Alberto Adria, brothers of El Bulli opened the Nikkei restaurant Pakta in Barcelona in 2013, and Maido in Lima, Peru is currently ranked #10 in the 50 World Best Restaurant list.