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Dining with the Chef

Dining with the Chef

DINING WITH THE CHEF introduces Americans to the techniques, ingredients and harmony of Japanese cuisine. Hosted by Yu Hayami who cooks alongside master chef Tatsuo Saito, and co-host Patrick Harlan who cooks with chef Rika Yukimasa, with occasional appearances by other guest chefs, the series presents delicious Japanese dishes that can be made at home. Chef Tatsuo Saito, a prominent master of Japanese culinary arts, has served as head chef at the Japanese embassies in Paris and Washington and was an instructor in Japanese cuisine at a Swiss hotel school. He has also prepared tastings for the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. In Tokyo he operates a cooking school and is a prolific author, often appearing on television, in magazines and on the lecture circuit. In DINING WITH THE CHEF, Chef Saito takes us to the heart of Japanese cuisine by demonstrating culinary techniques, explaining ingredients, and showing how to arrange food to bring out its distinctive characteristics. Host Yu Hayami is an international singer and actress who was born in Japan and raised in Guam and Hawaii. Aside from her career and being a mother of two, she is also involved in charity work. Yu is a lover of good food, as well as a fine wine enthusiast.

Latest Episodes

In this episode, chef Rika Yukimasa prepares five different salads, all made with sushi vinegar. First is namasu, traditionally eaten for celebrations like New Year's Day. She also makes potato salad with sansho pepper powder in the dressing, for a Japanese twist on this popular standard. In addition, chef Rika shows how to make pork shabu-shabu arugula salad, with briefly cooked thinly sliced pork on a bed of arugula; marinated smoked salmon salad, combining salmon with onion; and even simple smoothies. All of these recipes are quick and easy.

In this two-week special episode, chef Saito and host Yu Hayami step out of the studio and visit the Kamakura and Shonan regions of Kanagawa, introducing the wonders of the local ingredients. The first week covers Kamakura, a popular destination for top chefs and tourists from Tokyo in recent years. Produce of this region includes the fresh Kamakura vegetables, numerous types ranging from ancient local varieties to the newest foreign plants grown in small batches. They go on to visit the leading producers of the area to discover the allure of the vegetables of Kamakura.

On this episode, the focus is on Aichi, located halfway between Tokyo and Osaka. In particular, two dishes are made that are popular in Aichi's capital, the castle town of Nagoya: tenmusu rice balls with tempura, and hitsumabushi, mixed rice served with soup or tea. Chef Rika shows two different and delightful ways to combine tempura, a popular Japanese food, with onigiri rice balls.

Chef Saito and Yu Hayamai visit the far northern prefecture of Akita and learn about Akita's local cooking over two episodes. In the first episode, they learn about Kiritampo-nabe, a hotpot dish once cooked by the Matagi, hunters who lived in the mountains. This hotpot contains local Hinai chicken, seri, maitake mushrooms, burdock root, and kiritampo, the item that gives the dish its name. Made by mashing rice, then spreading it on a stick and grilling it, kiritampo are perfect for soaking up the rich flavor of the Hinai chicken soup.

The chef and host will be visiting the far northern prefecture of Akita and learning about Akita's local cooking over two episodes. In the first episode, they learn about Kiritampo-nabe, a hotpot dish once cooked by the Matagi, hunters who lived in the mountains. This hotpot contains local Hinai chicken, seri, maitake mushrooms, burdock root, and kiritampo, the item that gives the dish its name. Made by mashing rice, then spreading it on a stick and grilling it, kiritampo are perfect for soaking up the rich flavor of the Hinai chicken soup.

The hosts visit the far northern prefecture of Akita and learn about Akita's local cooking over two episodes. In the first episode, they learn about Kiritampo-nabe, a hotpot dish once cooked by the Matagi, hunters who lived in the mountains. This hotspot contains local Hinai chicken, seri, maitake mushrooms, burdock root and kiritampo-the item that gives the dish its name. Made by mashing rice, then spreading it on a stick and grilling it, kiritampo are perfect for soaking up the rich flavor of the Hinai chicken soup.

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