This past weekend I held a wreath making class. We used a combination of natural and handmade materials for our wreaths. Some of the natural materials included dried oranges and lemons, nuts, cinnamon sticks, and anisette.
I prepared a few snacks and sweets as well: Macrobiotic bundt cake, hummus and beet spread sandwiches, and dried cranberry vegan scones. I paired them with Mariebelle English Breakfast tea.
Everyone’s wreath came out great! Thank you for coming!
This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in the Japanese Food and Restaurant Expo (JFRE) at the Metropolitan Pavilion as a translator for demonstrations by Natsuko Yamawaki of Hakkoan and Junya Miura of Yopparai.
Natsuko Yamawaki of Hakkoan showed everyone how to make shio-koji, an all-natural healthy seasoning and flavor enhancer that is becoming increasingly popular in Japan. Natsuko-san also showed the audience how to use shio-koji along with seasonal ingredients to create a delicious baked salmon and mushroom dish.
The audience looked very surprised by how much flavor and umami the shio-koji added to the dish. You can check out there facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/Hakkoan
Chef Junya Miura from Yopparai restaurant shared his knowledge of the origins of oden as well as techniques and tricks on how to make delicious oden.
He showed the audience how to cut daikon using a knife technique known as “mentori” or rounding the edges. He also showed the audience how to score the konnyaku in order to allow the flavor of the soup to soak in properly. Many people who viewed the demonstration expressed that they had made oden before but did not know the proper techniques that Chef Miura demonstrated. Many people were also not familiar with the amount of time that it takes to simmer oden to get good results (at least 2 days!)
I also had the opportunity to visit Yopparai Restaurant before the Restaurant Show.
Yopparai opened about a half year ago and is located on the Lower East Side in Manhattan.
The oden was really good and the place had a wonderful atmosphere.
Check it out if you get a chance or are in the area! Website: http://yopparainyc.com/home.html
I attended Kiyomi-san and Natsuko-san’s one day Macrobiotic cafe last Friday. I loved the way the room was set up with bright colors and items reminiscent of a tropical place. My favorite dish was the shio-koji ramen and of course the amazake dessert! The amazake was served frozen so it tasted like a sorbet. It was really delicious!
Natsuko Yamawaki is a very talented chef and a very warm person who makes the atmosphere of the class very comfortable and enjoyable. I felt really inspired by her methods of cooking and interesting combination of ingredients. For example, her use of apple juice as a sweetener for hijiki salad instead of the traditional sugar and soy sauce changed a dish that is usually very thick and deep tasting to a light and refreshing salad. I must say the macrobiotic shumai were my favorite and I already tried making them at home and they came out great! The use of shiokoji really added flare to the dish. I have also made my own at home and started replacing salt with shiokoji. It really gives food a much deeper and more sophisticated taste.
After learning and taking part in preparing several dishes we sat down as a class and enjoyed the meal together. The warm atmosphere combined with the interesting and welcoming people in the class really made it a pleasant experience. I definitely hope to be back again!
Natsuko Yamawaki holds Macrobiotic classes in Astoria Queens several times a month with different themes.
You can check out her website here –>http://www.natsukoyamawaki.com/