Congratulations to Takashi Miyazaki on being awarded a Michelin star for his restaurant Ichigo Ichie from all of us here at FOOD&WINE! With two locations in Cork City, Takashi has had a busy year running MIYAZAKI and opening the newly-starred Ichigo Ichie. We can't wait to see how the next year goes for Ireland's best Japanese chef, but in the meantime, let's take a look back at Takashi's feature from our Jan/Feb 2018 printed issue.
When we printed our Jan/Feb 2018 issue of FOOD&WINE Magazine we made a prediction:
"If you don't know the name Takashi Miyazaki, you soon will. The Japanese chef has been the one to watch over the last few years, slowly but surely building up a reputation for authentic yet accomplished Japanese cuisine."
Shortly after we met with Takashi, he opened Ichigo Ichie, Ireland's first kappou-style and kaiseki restaurant. Serving elaborately prepared, seasonal Japanese dishes, Ichigo Ichie has wowed all who have visited, and the Michelin inspectors were no exception as the restaurant received its first Michelin star on Monday at the Michelin Guide GB & Ireland 2019 announcement ceremony in the BFI IMAX, London.
Want to learn more about what makes a Michelin star chef tick? Read this Q&A we did with Takashi earlier this year.
What’s your earliest food memory?
"Seafood and ramen at ‘Yatai’. Yatai is a food stall or cart open after sunset until early morning. Fukuoka is my home town and famous for Yatai in Japan. My mum and dad used to bring me to Yatai when I was child. The master of Yatai is a free diver and a chef. He would catch some seafood and shellfish in the morning to serve in his stall, so of course there was different seafood on the menu every day. I loved shichirin (Japanese charcoal grill) grilled ‘sazae’ (turban shell/sea snail) – which are grilled whole fresh sea snails dropped in soy sauce in the shell when it’s boiling. I still remember that texture and flavour when I'm thinking of it."
What is your pet peeve in the kitchen?
"Waste – I want to cook and use every part of the fish. Irish fishing policy makes fishermen throw away parts of the fish at sea. I think that is a big waste and I'm disappointed that I cannot cook with these special ingredients. I want Irish people to taste and experience."
Which kitchen tool could you not live without?
"Knives and stone sharpeners.I use Japanese knives and Fingal Ferguson’s knives, which are made with passion. It's important to look after your knives."
What is your current ingredient obsession?
"Root vegetables. Autumn leaves have given the soil a great boost so now root vegetables are full of flavour and nutrition."
What’s your guilty pleasure?
"Pot noodle. I used to have a pot noodle every day when I was in high school before kendo (Japanese fencing) club. I know it's not great but I still have pot noodle sometimes when I'm off. Turn off the mobile phone, watch Japanese comedy show on the computer, eat and laugh just for half an hour."
Who is your dream dinner party guest?
Let us in on your top foodie tip…
"Keep the balance. I always keep the balance of taste, umami, as I use glutamic acid (seaweed or cheese), inosinic acid (fish or meat) and guanylic acid (mushrooms) and they are all natural. There is equation for cooking. Use seasonal ingredients for your dish and tell your story with your dish."
Want to learn more about Takashi and his food? Check out the links below for some amazing recipes as well as Takashi's Japanese ingredient guide.