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]



  1. What a fabulous menu. Every dish sounded wonderful. I look forward to reading more on this blog.K.A.

  2. gambatte yoshio!

    yuzu is so much more than “a japanese lime…” but i couldn’t do any better explaining it.

    and i hope to one day eat that duck:)

  3. Looks delicious! Wish I could have tasted that menu! Wow!

  4. Hi Yoshio-san,

    Sounds yummy…..how exciting to have guests from Kyoto.

    I am devastated that Katrina is leaving Japan, so let’s cry over
    good wine when you come to Tokyo this summer.

    Take care! 😉

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