Photos and text by Chamagraphy

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Gohan Society Modern Kaiseki Dinner
@ Sakagura 211E 43rd Street B1F, New York

The Gohan Society is a non-profit organization bringing Japanese culinary culture in US through outreaching to chefs, culinary arts professionals, and all who admire and enjoy Japanese culture. They had more than ten inspiring educational programs in 2010. For example, “Mastering Fish the Japanese Way” with Sushi Zen’s chef Toshio Suzuki, “American Chefs to Japan” where the chefs exchanged culinary cultures, and “Washoku 101” for local high school students learning Japanese cuisine.

On November 16, The Gohan Society hosted a first annual fund-raising dinner event to celebrated their accomplishments at Sakagura in Midtown, NY. The evening featured “10 Course Modern Kaiseki Style Dinner Prepared by 10 of NY’s Most Celebrated Chefs” paired with 5 kinds of selected sakes. Lee Anne Wong, one of the last four contestants on Bravo’s Top Chef Season 4, organized and led the chefs to accomplish the 10 corse dinner.

It was 5-hour meal, and over 100 guest indulged the beautiful prepared dishes. The chefs had some time to sit down at tables, and taste the other chefs’ dishes during the dinner. All the meals looked beautiful and so much love in the individual dishes. Great food created by 10 talented chefs, and endless well selected sakes during the 5-hour dinner, what a special occasion!

Modern Kaiseki Dinner Menu

1st course Sakizuke by Michael Romano (Union Square Hospitality Group)
Kindai Tuna Sushi, Fregola, Avocado Sardinian Olive Oil

2nd course Hassun by Seamus Mullen
Hamachi, Arbequina, Yuzu, Togarashi
Sashimi of Kobe Beef, Horseradish, Wood Ear Mushroom, Uni
Littleneck Clam, Chorizo, Crosnes, Piment D’Espelette

3rd course Wan Mono by Ben Pollinger (Oceana)
Roasted Barley, Monkfish, Nappa Cabbage, Ginger

4th course Mukozuke by Brad Farmerie (Public)
Tasmanian Sea Trout, Piccalilli, Shichimi, Shiso

5th course Futamono by Michael Anthony & Paul Wetzel (Gramercy Tavern)
Matsutake Mushrooms, Winter Squash, Duck

6th course Yakimono by Chris Rendell (Double Crown)
Grilled Black Cod, Cashew-chili Relish, Hijiki, Soy-Mirin Dressing

7th course Su-Zakana by Craig Koketsu (Park Avenue Autumn)
Fuyu Persimmons, Black Sesame, Ginger

8th course Shiizakana by Pierre Thiam (Le Grand Dakar)
Spice Crusted Lamb Loin, Sake Sauce

9th course Tome-Wan by King Phojanakong (Kuma Inn)
Miso Soup, Glutinous Rice and Sweet Pork Sausage, Pickled Bitter Melon, Mushrooms, Radish

10th course Mizumono by Dominique Ansel (Daniel)
Apple Confit with Green Apple Wasabi Gelee and Yuzu Sorbet

Cocktail Reception
Mixology by Nils Noren & Dave Arnold (French Culinary Institute)
Brooklyn Brewery Beer
Suntory Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki 12 years (サントリーシングルモルトウィスキー 山崎12年)
Nanbu Bijin Tokubetsu Junmai (南部美人 特別純米)

Paired Sakes for Dinner
Daishichi (Minowamon / Yuki-Shibori) 大七 箕輪門 特別純米 / 雪しぼり 本醸造にごり
Dassai (Junami Daiginjo 39) 獺祭 純米3割9分
Tengumai (Yamahai Junmai) 天狗舞 山廃純米
Hakkaisan (Tokubetsu Junmai) 八海山 特別純米

11月16日、NYを代表するミッドタウンの酒バー&レストラン「酒蔵」を貸し切り、「五絆ソサエティ」 主催によるモダン懐石ディナーパーティーが開催されました。「五絆ソサエティ」は日本の食文化をアメリカでより理解してもらおうと、ニューヨークの一流レ ストランで活躍中の若手シェフ達を招き、日本の食材や技術のワークショップやレクチャーなどを開催したり、アメリカ人若手シェフを日本に派遣して食の文化 交流を行ったりと、日本食文化を伝える目的で活動している非営利団体です。

今回のディナーパーティーのメニューは「NYで活躍中のシェフ10人が作る懐石10コース」というなんとも豪華な内容。Bravo TVで人気のリアリティー料理番組 Top Chef 4 でセミファイナルまで残った Lee Anne Wong 指揮により、Daniel, Gramercy Tavern, Park Avenue Autumn, Oceana, Public などNYで人気レストランのシェフ達が、懐石スタイルの料理を一品ずつ用意しました。参加者100人を超えたディナーは5時間にも及び、それぞれの料理に合わせてペアリングされた日本酒とともに一品一品を楽しんでいる様子でした。