"Spending time in Kyoto with Jane gave me a deeper insight into the Japanese culture. The Japanese emphasis on beautiful presentation and how they represent nature and the seasons have been an almost subconscious influence on me. Because of Jane's experience and network I had greater access to the culture."
Executive Chef, Quay Restaurant, Sydney
Earlier this year I had the great honour of showing friend and Guru-Chef Peter Gilmore of Quay around my second home - Kyoto.
Peter and I met about 5 or 6 years ago when I was the Food Publisher at Murdoch Books - I managed to convince him and the Fink Group to allow us to publish Quay Restaurant's first book and recently we just finished making the second - which is one of the most stunning books I've ever seen (not at all biased)- and I haven't even held a hard copy yet! Keep an eye out for it later this year - no doubt I'll be giving it a shout out when it hits the shelves so stay tuned.
We've spent many, many hours working together on both books - and in our breaks we often chatted about our mutual interest in Japan (well my obsession with Kyoto mostly!) and her amazing culinary culture.
Peter has travelled to Japan on several occasions and he so enjoyed his first Kyoto experience, some years back, that he thought he'd make the most of my being there in January (hosting my inaugural Kyoto Winter Cuisine and Culture Tours) and flew over for a closer look into the food culture with me by his side.
We packed a lot into a few short days - eating the most stunning food of course, investigating local ingredients at food markets, chatting with producers and chefs, admiring the most beautiful ceramics (purchases were made), sitting on temple decks contemplating life and Omotenashi (Japanese hospitality) with a wonderful monk, meeting fascinating locals and keen food farmers and scanning artisan galleries for everything from handmade paper to knives.
(pretty excited to spot a Maiko/trainee Geisha and a fully fledged Geisha below in red)
It wasn't enough time of course but it was just a little taste of what guests experience on my full length tours - Zenbu Ryori, Zenbu Zen and Zenbu Nigeru. Pete will just have to come back next winter!
As with all my tours we stayed at the Kyoto Hyatt Regency Hotel and were so very well looked after by General Manager Ken Yokoyama - who has to be THE most wonderful hotel manager in the universe - and also his excellent staff including Executive Chef Shaun Keenan who arranged for Peter to visit one of the restaurant's kitchens to examine the house miso and pickles! Thank you team Hyatt! Kyoto and I look forward to sharing more with you next time PG!
Ps - see the strips of paper on the wall above -that's the menu. Between 6 of us - we ate the wall!
You can find more details on my
Kyoto Cuisine and Culture Tours here
or you can email me directly for e-brochures at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please go here to read some tour testimonials.
Hope to see you in Kyoto soon ! Jane