Archive for February, 2010

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August 27, 2009: Mayors’ Dinner

February 12, 2010

Mayor's Dinner: Japan Society of Boston

Mayor's Dinner: The Japan Society of Boston, Mayor of Kyoto, Japan, Chef Yoshio Saito, Assistant Chef Stephen Vedder

Mayor's Dinner, Chef Yoshio Saito, Host Peter Grilli, and mayor of Kyoto, Japan

Chef Yoshio Saito (left) talks about his meal to Peter Grilli (host-center) and Mayor of Kyoto, Japan (extreme right)

On August 27, 2009, the Japan Society of Boston hired Okonomy to design a menu for the Mayors of Boston and Kyoto, Japan.

Chef Saito decided to create an “East meets West” menu, splitting between Japanese favorites and New England dishes to compliment both cultures. The dinner concept was to introduce the tastes of New England to the Kyoto residents (Kyoto being one of the gourmet centers of  traditional Japanese cuisine) and showcased many local New England ingredients, such as: Salmon, Lobster, Maple Syrup, Cranberries and Long Island Duck which was served with Chef Saito’s original Yuzu (Japanese Lime) with Sake Port Wine Sauce. The Menu included:

Traditional New England Lobster Salad

Cold Poached Salmon with Lemon-Dill Sour Cream Sauce

Homemade Spring Rolls

Onigiri with Gourmet Rice [Onigiri is a “sandwich” of rice wrapped in nori (seaweed), filled with either roasted salmon, umeboshi (pickled plum), or shredded konbu (kelp)] Chef Saito chose a Japanese famous brand rice, named Koshihikari, for this dish, which is not grown in Japan, but in California.  Chef Saito specifically chose this brand of rice, because he knew that the gourmands of Kyoto would agree that weather patterns of California create a more  tasty rice grain, that is perhaps better than Japanese one.

Baby Back Barbecue Ribs with Vermont Maple Syrup and Cognac

Potato Karokke [Karokke is a dumpling made from potato and ground beef, coated with panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and deep-fried.

Yuzu-Mirin Rost Duck [Yuzi is a Japanese lime; Mirin is a sweet-ish vinegar]

Kushiage [Kushiage are an assortment of foods, skewered with small sticks. breaded with panko and deep-fried. Chef Saito served a variety: shrimp, squash, asparagus, onion, shiitake mushroom, chicken, scallops, pork tenderloin, tofu, eggplant, and cheese]

Chilled Roast Ham with New England Cranberry-Champagne Reduction

Vegetarian Hosa-Maki [Vegetarian Sushi]

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Hello and Welcome to the World of Okonomy!

February 11, 2010

Dear Readers,

Welcome all to the World of Okonomy! This blog will follow an aspiring chef (Stephen Vedder) as he learns the methods and techniques, in general, of the Japanese Fushion culinary style, and in particular, Okonomiyaki arts from Master Chef, Yoshio Saito.

Chef Saito is owner of “Okonomy” a Japanese-fusion catering business, located in Jamaica Plain, Ma. Chef Saito has just finished a book introducing the delicious and versatile Japanese dish Okonomiyaki to the west, named: “Way Beyond Sushi: A New World of Okonomiyaki”.

The breakdown of the word okonomiyaki is such: “okonomi” means “your favorites”, “yaki” meaning “grilled”. So, Okonomiyaki is “your favorites, grilled”. There are three basic styles of Okonomiyaki:  Toykyo-style, Hiroshima-style, and Osaka-style, but there are literally hundreds of variations within these three styles, depending on what “your favorites” might be. The principal component of Okonomiyaki is a kind of a Japanese crepe covering vegetables, seafood, or meat, grilled on a grill-pan and covered with a special sauce. Okonomiyaki is healthy, versatile, simple, uses few cooking tools, and is very tasty!

If you would like more info on Japanese-fusion cooking or Okonomiyaki, while we are building this site, visit Chef Saito’s website:  www.okonomy.com

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