David Bouley: Power of Kombu and PURITY IMPORTANCE OF WATER
Cooking Class and Multi-Course Wine Lunch: Friday, June 7 from noon until 2:30 p.m.
Bouley at Home – 31 W. 21st Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Presentation and Multi-Course Wine Dinner: Friday, June 7 from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
Bouley Test Kitchen – 31 W. 21st Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
For many years Chef David Bouley has been a vocal advocate of Japanese cuisine, especially its fermented foods and seaweed. On Friday, June 7, Chef Bouley will hold two cooking classes that celebrate the diversity of Japan’s kombu and the purity of its water.
Takashi Okui from a traditional Japanese kombu family and Chef Bouley will cook with a special one-and-only, 31-years-aged Rishiri Kombu from Okuikaiseido, outside of Kyoto, for the first time in the US. Learn the Power of Kombu and PURITY IMPORTANCE OF WATER during an in-depth presentation and display of several different types of the finest kombu from Okuikaiseido and Mitsubishi Cleansui’s culinary water (clean and soft water). A multi-course menu with wine pairings will be served during both the interactive lunch and dinner sessions.
Chef Bouley and Okui will discuss the history of kombu, types of kombu, aging and health benefits, Washoku culture, and how soft water impacts traditional Japanese cuisine. Enjoy a tasting comparison of several different kinds of dashi (broth) before Chef Bouley serves special dishes using Rishiri Kombu and Mitsubishi Cleansui’s culinary water.
The flavor of Japanese Cuisine is determined by the quality of the dashi made by kombu, the most important element of Japanese cuisine. Water is another very important element of dashi, especially since the water in Japan is soft, which helps ingredients stay true to their flavor while extracting maximum umami, one of the five independent tastes – along with sweetness, saltiness, sourness and bitterness.
Kombu has many nutritional benefits and is great for health because it is one of the weakest alkaline ingredients with zero calories and is rich in dietary fibers and minerals. Similar to wine, geographical and climate features impact the taste of kombu and help develop Japanese food culture. There are two different ways to eat kombu: as a dashi and as an ingredient. At restaurants, kombu is hidden as umami in the dishes; at home, kombu itself is in the dishes.
On our recent learning trip to Japan we met Master of Kombu Mr. Takashi Okui from a traditional Kombu family in Okuikaiseido (outside of Kyoto). We have invited Takashi to join me in a cooking demonstration to share with you kombu and dashi. With their many health benefits and simple uses, these essential ingredients can become part of your life. – Chef David Bouley
Japanese Cuisine is referred to as “Cuisine of Water” because Japan has soft water that is rich in minerals and enhances umami. By contrast, the “Cuisine of Sauce” in France is based on fats and oils. Traditional Japanese food is collectively known as Washoku, meaning the harmony of foods. Washoku’s concept is based around “creating the best satisfaction using umami with less fats and oils.” Umami dashi is the core of Washoku and is derived mainly from kombu and katsuobushi (bonito flakes).
In both the afternoon cooking class and the evening event, participants will learn about “Ichiban Dashi,” an almost pure Umami broth showcasing the synergy between kombu and katsuobushi. This is the most popular dashi using kombu, which produces and boosts the clear taste of umami. A versatile, healthy ingredient is as delicious by itself as it is when drawing out the flavors from other foods.
Seating is limited, so make your reservation today. For more information and to purchase tickets to either class, please visit BouleyEvents.com.