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Andrea Sacchi
Food and Japan Or More Precisely Food & Tokyo
featured chefsfood in japan by andrea sacchi

Photographs by Andrea Sacchi
Food and Japan or more precisely food and Tokyo: a perfect mathematical equation, as one does not exist without the other. There is not any other country in the world, not even the "live to eat" Italians, that are so obsessed with food as is the archipelago of the rising sun.

With more than 200 magazines on the topic and an endless number of restaurants of any kind, Japan shines under the spotlight of the food business. There is not a single television program, prime time or not, that does not have a cooking showcase, nor an outside reporter storming the restaurants in town in search of the latest food of the day. Whether it is a television celebrity, a housewife or a professional chef all are summating upon the cameras in the name of food, to showcase their skill, their favorite dishes or simply their newly discovered dining spot in town.

Japan produces a number of great television-cooking programs such as the Iron chef - a battle zone for local and expatriate chefs who compete in western, Japanese or Chinese food. There are also some more crazy shows like the eating contest, which are so popular here that they have even managed to put it on a global scale with international competitors and a world tour.

Publications of every kind storm the massive book and magazine stores and more than likely any Expatriate Chef working in one of the big names in town will be found featured. Be prepared for the photo shoot to become a regular part of your weekly routine in the kitchen, at least 4-5 photo shoots a month, either for magazine, TV or other promotional arenas.

Fancy any kind of food? Pick up the phone and a storm of scooters will deliver anything from sushi to Thai to Italian. No problem! Fancy a french crepes or a 7-course dinner, they'll be on your door in 30 minutes in any part of town. Make sure that your Japanese is up to speed you do not want to order a sushi set and end up with a Korean kalbi or some Naan and Tikka.

But lets get down to more detail on the "real" catering business.

Lets start from the bottom, the inexpensive so called fast food, an array of places are to be found in any corner of the city, subways included, not counting the burger places, there are revolving sushi bars, ramen shops not bigger than the average bathroom in Europe, cafes and any kind of food broken down to a chain of single item restaurant, designed for lunch in and out in an-average of 10 minutes, many of them offer only stand up eating capabilities, designed for the Japanese office worker with limited time.

Middle of the range restaurants and theme restaurants are extremely popular right now. With the economy a little shaky, Japan is not anymore the land of the 1000 Dollar bill for two, more reasonably priced restaurants have opened offering a great quality price ratio so as to keep everybody happy.

The Food Of Andrea Sacchi

In the same price bracket - the themed-restaurants, which are marketed to the 20-30 year old age group, ramge from the gothic style, to the african/arabian experience or the Maya feast. Since role playing and custom are very dear to the young these places are proving successful and since their lifespan is usually short, 2-3 years, there is always something new coming up.

The big names of hospitality are all in town offering the very high end product and service that Japanese people love to have. Each hotel offers a diverse product and normally carries from 6 to 12 different outlets, the choice is vast and the prices are what you'll expect and more.

One of the luxuries to be a chef in Japan is the produce that you get to work with. Every time a supplier arrives it's like Santa has landed, such high quality and care taken is difficult to find in other places. When the veggies arrive and they are all the same exact size mostly individually wrapped, shipped in from all over the world, the seafood, custom cleaned and cut as you asked for in a layer of ice protected wood-paper, you know you could only be in Tokyo. Every kind of seafood you can imagine lands here. Japan consumes one third of the worldwide fishing quota so you can image the joy of a 5 o'clock in the morning trip to Tsukigi (Tokyo's main fish and veggies market) and if you had any doubt on what to use on your next a la carte, well you'll exit from here with more ideas than you need.

Of course the expatriate life here is not all roses but you can take out some amazing experiences to carry with you when you fly off from the land of the Rising Sun.

And if you feel stressed out and need to let it all out let me suggest you a couple of places outside from the usual Roppongi crowd.

Head Down to The Fiddler in Takadanobaba, for good beers great live music and a bunch of great people or pop in at Ben's café for good coffee,wines and more….

Checkout they websites: and: these guys make life happier in the big maki wrap that's Tokyo.

That's all for now anything particular you'll want to know just let me know and I'll be off searching for you.


Check out Andrea's stylish cooking - Pumpkin Tortelli or Seared Scallops with, Wild Mushroom Tartar plus Wine With Sushi & Sashimi

Food and Japan
Seared Scallops with, Wild Mushroom Tartar
Pumpkin Tortelli
Wine With Sushi & Sashimi
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