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Kaiseki: Secrets of an Embassy Chef

  • Japan Information and Culture Center 1150 18th Street Northwest Washington, DC, 20036 United States (map)

Kaiseki: Secrets of an Embassy Chef Lecture Series

Secrets of Washoku Series Part 1

Presented by the Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan

Explore the secrets of Japanese Washoku cuisine with one of Embassy of Japan’s Chefs, Ryo Iizawa. In 2013, Washoku became a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity for its highly symbolic use of locally grown ingredients, home cooked flavors passed down from generation to generation, and relationship to cultural traditions.

In Kaiseki: Secrets of an Embassy Chef, Chef Iizawa is delighted to open up to the American public about his journey in becoming an Embassy Chef and the intricate simplicities associated with Kaiseki, a type of traditional Japanese course meal that balances a variety of colors, cooking techniques, and tastes in order to maximize beauty, health, and enjoyment while maintaining practicality.

Following the live interview and Kaiseki food arrangement demonstration with Chef Iizawa, there will be a reception where audience members can taste a selection from the course menu and enjoy a Q&A session with the Chef.

Chef Ryo Iizawa

Meet Chef Iizawa, ‪Embassy Chef‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ at the Ambassador’s Residence specializing in Japanese cuisine. Chef Iizawa is originally from Tokyo and is the son of a public school teacher. He has been working at the Embassy since November of 2012.

Chef Iizawa started as one of three chefs at a small Japanese restaurant, and still looks up to his boss from the time. He went on to work at the Royal Park Hotel before coming to the Embassy of Japan. “The chefs who used to work at the Embassy of Japan in the US have twice the experience we (Chef Iizawa and Chef Amemiya ) do. That’s why we felt a great sense of responsibility when we were selected for the position,” Chef Iizawa said. When asked about his first impression of Ambassador Sasae and Mrs. Sasae he commented, “I thought they looked like very kind people, and I couldn’t have been more right.

His favorite thing to prepare is Japanese Soba (buckwheat noodles). Chef Iizawa said he likes to prepare soba because it is an excellent example of traditional Japanese food and also happens to be relatively scarce in the US. “I believe that Soba will definitely become more popular in the US probably sometime after the ramen boom.”

His preferred dish to eat is curry (of all kinds: Thai, Indian, or Japanese). His first part-time job, coincidentally, was at a Japanese curry restaurant and is what introduced him to the world of cooking.

Kaiseki: Secrets of an Embassy Chef is the first of two introductory events to better understand the Secrets of Washoku cuisine that will be held at the JICC. Please join us once again in October for an exciting new take on Japanese food culture!

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required for security purposes. Check-in begins at 6:00PM; event begins at 6:30PM. No admission or re-entry will be permitted after doors close at 7:00PM or when seating is filled, whichever occurs first. Registered guests will be seated on a first come, first served basis. Please arrive early as seating is limited and registration does not guarantee guests a seat.


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Tuesday, September 20, 2016 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (EDT) - Add to Calendar


Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan - 1150 18th St NW Suite 100, Washington, DC 20036 - View Map