Breathing in spring in Japan – eating celeriac in SydneyPosted: March 19, 2016
Thirty four years ago I spent nine months living in Tokyo. I consider that this has had the greatest and most lasting influence on my life, how I cook and how I treat food. I studied macrobiotic cooking in Tokyo and revelled in all aspects of their exquisite culture. Tomorrow I shall return to Japan, just in time to celebrate with millions, the first day of spring and the start of the cherry blossom season. Whilst I will be essentially on ‘holiday’ no chef is ever truly at rest; with every bite I eat, every ingredient I glimpse and each waft of a scent that wanders my way I will be looking for, what is ancient and what breaks new ground; to inspire who knows what creations to come? I have a very special interest in Japan’s many ways with fermentation and I will returning with whatever I can, to put to good use in the book I am writing on this topic.
Fair warning my Instagram followers, bountiful blossoms and drunken daikon in barrels a plenty, will be coming your way.
When I return I will be head down and into the book, except for a quick trip to teach in Perth in early May. Inspired, as I expect to be, I have included a workshop for making ferments that fit everyday life and of course, a couple of Japanese cooking classes, I am also running a two day workshop for how to cook for the intolerant at your table, this is sadly become the norm at so many tables. I have just added the details of these classes to the online booking page here. These are classes hosted by my compatriot and dear friend, Jude Blereau of Wholefood Cooking and all bookings can be made through her.
I will keep a diary whilst I travel and make note of anything I think you might just love, I hope to see you here or there anon.
I’m rushing but before I go, here is a very quick pickle recipe, that if you don’t already know, you might just love? It is celeriac season in Sydney, they are coming in as large as your head. You can cook them in many ways and they are divine but you might try this, peel them carefully (then make a cut, to create a flat area to sit it on its side, so it can’t roll) slice in thin roundish disks, sprinkle with sea salt, a little lemon zest and some pepper, rub those in and leave to sit an hour or a few, use these now flexible, crispy disks, as a wrap or as a platform or vehicle to transport a delicious topping or two.