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In the kitchen with Takashi Miyazaki

The Cork-based chef talks singing rice cookers, Irish lamb and seafood.


Have you ever wondered what chefs eat when they're not in their restaurants? Us too.

That's why we've decided to launch a new series In the kitchen with... which sees us chat with some of our favourite chefs about their food habits outside of the workplace and today, we're chatting with Michelin-starred chef Takashi Miyazaki.

Japanese-born Takashi Miyazaki resides in Cork with his family where he owns two much-loved restaurants Miyazaki and Ichigo Ichie, both of which are Japanese-style restaurants that celebrate Irish ingredients. Ichigo Ichie, which is Ireland's first kappou-style and kaiseki restaurant, was awarded a Michelin star in 2018, an accolade it has held ever since. Takashi and his restaurants also took home a slew of awards at last year's 2019 FOOD AND WINE Awards, including Best Chef Munster and Best Restaurant Munster. 

Here, we chat to Takashi about his daily food habits. 

READ MORE: In the kitchen with Jess Murphy

Takashi Miyazaki receiving his Michelin star in 2018.
Takashi Miyazaki receiving his Michelin star in 2018.

Do you cook a lot at home?  

Yes as much I can, I have two little boys and I love to cook Japanese food for them. I want to expose them to all the Japanese flavours at a young age. They love soup noodles!  

Who do you usually eat with?   

I work quite long hours and having a staff lunch is very important. We all sit down together. The chefs take it in turns so we have fun with different foods. Mike cooks great Eastern Asian, Sergie stays true to his Spanish style and Aidan cooks great pasta dishes. We relax and enjoy the food and craic. It’s important that all our staff sit down together as a team.  

On my days off, I cook for my family and invite friends over. In winter I cook nabe (which is a sharing hotpot) and in summer I love to barbecue. Sharing good food and having a chat is what I love.  

Are there any foods you have to or choose to avoid?  

Luckily, I have no allergies. I try to keep away from processed food and living in Cork makes that easy with the market, as well as great cafés and delis everywhere. But the odd pot noodle does no harm!  

What five ingredients do you always have in your kitchen?  

Kombu and bonito flakes to make dashi, soba, udon, ramen noodles and rice (the basics) and lamb. My father-in-law is a sheep farmer in Offaly so we have Ballycumber lamb for any get-together.   

What is in your fridge right now?  

Soy sauce, yuzu pepper paste, umeboshi, Kerrygold butter and beer. 

What is your default dinner after a busy week?  

Irish beef steak with ponzu and green salad. I seal the steak and put it in the oven at 100 degrees for 45 minutes while I get the salad ready. It’s so easy. 

What is your favourite kitchen gadget?  

My Japanese rice cooker that sings to me when the rice is ready. 

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Photo by Harry Weir and Brian Clarke.
Photo by Harry Weir and Brian Clarke.

Do you have a favourite chef or cookbook?  

Taisho, in my hometown in Fukuoka. He serves street food in a yatai food stall by the river. I still wonder how he could make such crazy tasty dishes in a tiny mobile stall.   

Have you ever had a kitchen disaster?  

When I was working in a kitchen in Japan, knives were kept on a magnetic knife holder above our work station. An earthquake hit and all the knives were falling. We tried to save the knives more than ourselves!  

What's the best thing you've ever cooked?  

Irish mackerel shime saba cured in kombu and aged vinegar. I love to cook with Irish products while using Japanese techniques.  

What is the best cooking tip you've ever been given?  

When you boil shellfish or squid, boil with a daikon (Japanese radish) as it tenderizes the fish. 

What would be your last meal? 

Mentai ochazuke a rice dish with cod roe, green tea and dashi poured over the top. It’s just like getting a big hug. 

What is your favourite dish to cook?  

Any stew dish. I love how flavours develop as the ingredients cook. It doesn’t matter what meat or veg, it is comfort food and good food brings comfort. 

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Keep up with Takashi on his Twitter and Instagram pages, plus ichigoichie.ie. Miyazaki is also available on Deliveroo.

Takashi's tofu and black sesame pudding. Photo by Harry Weir and Brian Clarke.
Takashi's tofu and black sesame pudding. Photo by Harry Weir and Brian Clarke.