Japanese Chef Visits George Brown College

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TORONTO — Students from George Brown College culinary program were treated to more than a taste of Japanese food yesterday, they were exposed to the tenets behind the popular cuisine.

Visiting Japanese chef Naoyuki Yanagihara was the star attraction at last night’s culinary demo at the cooking school. The respected chef, who hails from Tokyo, has been on a multi-city tour over the past three months, on behalf of his country’s government, in a bid to bring a better understanding of Japanese cuisine throughout the world. The tour has included stops in Brazil, Ottawa and Toronto in recent weeks.

Yanagihara spoke to a room full of culinary students, guiding them through the principles of Japanese cooking, with a focus on the regional specialties of the cuisine. “Seventy per cent of Japan is mountains, while 30 per cent is flat; that’s where we grow our rice and vegetables, but it’s the mountains that make Japanese cooking,” he explained.

The chef stressed the historical importance of the cuisine, noting that recipes are typically handed down from generation to generation, something Yanaghihara knows all too well. He grew up in a family of cooks dating back 200 years. “Food is food,” said Yanagihara, “but it’s important to prepare it with integrity.”

Yanagihara spoke of the need to keep meals balanced, and touched on the importance of focusing on the four characteristics of Japanese cuisine: variety, health, social events and custom, and natural beauty. After the cooking demo, students were treated to a sampling of Japanese cuisine from some of the city’s leading Japanese restaurants as part of the school’s Culinary Cities of the World series.

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Rosanna Caira is the editor and publisher of Kostuch Media’s Foodservice and Hospitality, and Hotelier magazines. In her capacity as editor of Canada’s two leading hospitality publications, Rosanna directs the editorial and graphic content of both publications, and is responsible for the editorial vision of the magazines, its five websites as well as the varied tertiary products including e-newsletters, supplements and special projects. In addition to her editorial duties, Rosanna also serves as publisher of the company, directing the strategic development of the Sales and Marketing, Production and Circulation departments. Rosanna is the face of the magazines, representing the publications at industry functions and speaking engagements. She serves on various committees and Boards, including the Board of Directors of the Canadian Hospitality Foundation. She is a recipient of the Ontario Hostelry’s Gold Award in the media category. In 2006, Rosanna was voted one of the 32 most successful women of Italian heritage in Canada. Rosanna is a graduate of Toronto’s York University, where she obtained a BA degree in English literature.

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