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Center for Japanese Studies 50th Anniversary
Hybrid Japan

Japanese Food Culture on the Global Stage
November 08, Sunday

On Sunday, November 8th, 2009, the Center for Japanese Studies presented a day-long series of events that explored Japanese food culture and its place on the global stage. The day began with a roundtable discussion on "The History and Contemporary Forms of Japanese Food Culture," featuring Japanese food scholars from all over the United States and the World: Eric Rath (Professor, University of Kansas), Katarzyna Cwiertka (Professor, Leiden University), Jordan Sand (Professor, Georgetown University), Tomoko Aoyama (Professor, University of Queensland), and Gavin Whitelaw (Professor, International Christian University).

Next, the Center for Japanese Studies and Cal Dining co-sponsored the rolling of the world's largest California sushi roll on UC Berkeley's campus. Over 400 students gathered on Sproul Plaza to participate in the rolling of the 330 foot long sushi roll through the arch of Sather Gate, many dressed in fun costumes and coming in teams, while Executive Chef of Cal Dining, Ida Shen, delivered instructions. Yasumasa Nagamine, Consul General of Japan (San Francisco), walked the length of the California Roll, greeting and shaking the hands of the participating students, and certified that it was in fact the new world record holder.

The evening ended with "Washoku and Wine," a benefit gala dinner for the Center for Japanese Studies, featuring a five-course Japanese dinner paired with a premium California wine, prepared by the Bay Area's top chefs of Japanese cuisine. A reception lecture was presented by Professor Ted Bestor (Professor, Harvard University) on the globalization of sushi preceding the dinner.

Featured chefs:

Hiro Sone, the first Japanese chef to own two Michelin-starred restaurants, Terra in St. Helena and Ame in San Francisco's St. Regis Hotel; 2003 winner of the James Beard Foundation award for "Best Chef in California."

Mitsunori "Nori" Kusakabe, executive chef at the Michelin-starred and Zagat top-5 restaurant Sushi Ran in Sausalito; winner of the world 2008 Sushi of the Year award in London; former executive chef of Nobu in Tokyo and Miami Beach; kaiseki chef at Kyo Kaiseki Juntei in Kyoto.

Ron Siegel, chef of the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in San Francisco, which has made Gayot's "Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S." every year since he took over; first American "Iron Chef," beating Hiroyuki Sakai in 1998; former sous chef at the French Laundry; chef at Charles Nob Hill; executive chef at Masa's in San Francisco.

Shotaro "Sho" Kamio, executive chef of Yoshi's Jazz Club and Japanese Restaurant in San Francisco; winner of the Iron Chef San Francisco title; former executive chef at Ozumo in San Francisco.

Stephen Durfee, executive pastry chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of America, formerly at Charles Nob Hill and the French Laundry; winner of the James Beard "outstanding pastry chef" award; named one of the "10 best pastry chefs in America" by Pastry Art and Design.

The dinner was attended by major donors of the Center for Japanese Studies and UC Berkeley, as well as faculty members and University administrators. UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau offered welcoming remarks at the beginning of the dinner, and towards the end of the evening, Consul General Yasumasa Nagamine offered a toast to the Center for Japanese Studies and the extraordinary demonstration of culinary mastery of the evening's chefs.


Event Program

Scholarly Roundtable
THE HISTORY AND CONTEMPORARY FORMS OF JAPANESE FOOD CULTURE
Location: Toll Room, Alumni House, UC Berkeley
Time: 9:00am-11:30am

Welcome Remarks

Duncan Williams (Chair, Center for Japanese Studies)

Panel Session

"Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan"
Eric Rath (History, University of Kansas), author of Food and Fantasy in Early Modern Japan

"Legal and Illegal Dining in 1940s Japan"
Katarzyna Cwiertka (East Asian Studies, Leiden University), author of Asian Food: The Global and Local and Modern Japanese Cuisine: Food, Power, and National Identity

"Japanese Hybrid Gastronomy at the Beginning and End of the 20th Century: 'The Gourmet's Delight' and 'Iron Chef'"
Jordan Sand (East Asian Languages and Cultures, Georgetown University), author of A Short History of MSG

"Food and Gender in Yoshinaga Fumi's Manga"
Tomoko Aoyama (School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Queensland), author of Reading Food in Modern Japanese Literature

"Convenient Cuisine"
Gavin Whitelaw (Anthropology, International Christian University), author of At Your Conbini


THE WORLD'S LONGEST CALIFORNIA SUSHI ROLL: A WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT

Students at the rolling of the world's longest California Roll

Students at the rolling of the world's longest
California Roll

Location: Sather Gate, UC Berkeley
Time: 12:00pm-1:30pm

Performance

By Cal Raijin Taiko

Introduction

By Duncan Williams (Chair, Center for Japanese Studies)

Making and Rolling of the California Sushi Roll

Instructions delivered by Ida Shen (Executive Chef, Cal Dining)

Certification of World's Longest California Roll Record

By Yasumasa Nagamine (Consul General of Japan, San Francisco)

Co-sponsored by: Cal Dining


Guests at Washoku and Wine Benefit Gala Dinner

Guests at Washoku and Wine Benefit Gala Dinner

WASHOKU AND WINE: A BENEFIT GALA DINNER FOR THE CENTER FOR JAPANESE STUDIES
Location: Culinary Institute of America, Napa, CA
Time: 5:00pm-8:30pm


RECEPTION
Vinters Barrel Room

Hors d'Oeuvres

"Small bites" from Ron Siegel (Ritz-Carlton) and Sho Kamio (SF Yoshi's)
2006 Russian River Pinot Noir (Freeman Vineyard & Winery)

Reception Lecture

"Globalization of Sushi"
Ted Bestor (Anthropology/Japanese Studies, Harvard University), author of Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World


Courses I, II, III, IV, and V

Courses I, II, III, IV, and V

"WASHOKU AND WINE"
Ventura Center

Introduction

Duncan Williams (Chair, Center for Japanese Studies)
Nancy Harvin (Vice President for Advancement, CIA)

Remarks

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau

Dinner Service

Introduction of each chef, course, and wine by Tom Wong (Chef-Instructor, CIA)

Course I

Chawan-Mushi: Japanese Savory Custard with Maine Lobster & Sea Urchin
By Hiro Sone (Ame/Terra)
2008 Viognier, Miner Winery

Course II

Abalone with Miso Gelee, Matsutake Mushrooms, Dashi Broth
By Ron Siegel (Ritz-Carlton)
2007 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, DeLoach Vineyards

Course III

Five Classic Tastes of Nagasaki Hon-Maguro
By Nori Kusakabe (Sushi Ran)
2005 Napa Valley Merlot, Luna Vineyards

Course IV

Wagyu Rib Eye Beef "Shabu-Shabu" Style with Sesame Miso Beurre-Blanc
By Sho Kamio (SF Yoshi's)
2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Raymond Vineyards

Remarks and Toast

Yasumasa Nagamine (Consul General of Japan, San Francisco)

Course V

Black Sesame Seed Panna Cotta with Buckwheat Sable Cookies & Fuyu Persimmon Salad
By Stephen Durfee (CIA)
Premium Teas from Japan (Lupicia)

Closing Remarks

Duncan Williams and Tom Wong

From left: Duncan Williams (at podium), Chef Hiro Sone, Chef Ron Siegel, Chef Nori Kusakabe, Chef Sho Kamio, Chef Stephen Durfee

From left: Duncan Williams (at podium), Chef Hiro Sone, Chef Ron Siegel, Chef Nori Kusakabe,
Chef Sho Kamio, Chef Stephen Durfee

Co-sponsored by: JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization)