I was recently honored to help support an event called “KibÅ: A Taste of the Tohoku” here in New York featuring well known Japanese cookbook author Elizabeth Andoh. Living full time in Japan since 1967, Andoh-sensei is famed for teaching the complexities of Japanese cooking to an English speaking audience through in person classes and award winning (and beautiful) cookbooks such as Kansha and Washoku.
The KibÅ e-cookbook is Andoh’s precious way of both helping Tohoku with proceeds from the cookbook sales as well as preserving Tohoku specific dishes and cuisine culture. Andoh-sensei prepared a bento for each guest at the event featuring highlighted dishes from the cookbook, whose she also explained in detail using a slideshow and an engaging presentation.
I was asked to introduce the sake. The Tohoku sakes featured on this evening were Miyagi’s Urakasumi Zen Junmai Ginjo, Iwate’s Nanbu Bijin Tokubetsu Junmai and Fukushima’s Daishichi Kimoto Junmai. I gave the guests a quick sake 101 along with a brief profile of each brewery and the steps they’ve taken to recover from the March 11th disaster. Many Students came up to me afterwards and commented on the pleasures of pairing real Tohoku sake with Tohoku Dishes made by an expert. I couldn’t agree more!
On the food front, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I really enjoyed the delicious dishes and Downloaded the Ebook myself as soon as I got home. “KibÅ” itself means “brimming with hope” and after eating these dishes, I’m brimming with hope myself that I will cook them at home and can’t wait to have my own Tohoku sake and food pairing.
I’ve got a lot of admiration for Andoh-sensei using what she knew best to reach out and help the people of the Tohoku in their recovery and, to help the rest of us learn about this fascinating regional cuisine. Here’s a big Kanpai for the recovery and rebirth of Japan’s Tohoku! Here’s the link of you want to get the KibÅ e-cookbook yourself: