My connection to Japanese cooking has brought me all over the world to give cookery demos and talks. Some of the most memorable of these occasions have been in the home of Ambassador Miyoshi, the Japanese Ambassador to Ireland.
Over the years Ambassador Miyoshi has been incredibly supportive of my work. On several occasions she has invited me to host receptions in her private home in Foxrock, Dublin. There she has a dedicated space for hosting such events and functions. Those in attendance would usually include members of the business community with links to Japan, or other guests of the ambassador.
Most recently, I hosted a reception inspired by sake, titled “Celebrate Sake: Married with Irish Food.” Sake is an alcoholic drink made from fermented rice that enjoys widespread popularity in Japan. I began the evening began with an introduction to sake, before presenting a cookery demo with a focus on how beautifully you can pair sake with food.
The centrepiece of the demo was steak, and not just any steak, but Wagyu beef. Wagyu beef is one of the most desirable meats in the world, famous for its intense marbling which produces a tender, juicy, naturally enhanced flavour to the meat.
I sourced the Wagyu beef from Pat Whelan, a fifth generation Irish butcher. Pat’s love and admiration for Wagyu Beef from Japan saw him develop his own Wagyu herd in Tipperary. It is a unique (and delicious!) combination the best of Japanese food and cooking and Ireland’s rich history of farming and butchery.
At the event I also created a dish using both Goatsbridge Trout and Goatsbridge Caviar. I first met the owners of Goatsbridge Trout Farm, Mag and Ger Kirwan, when I began my food journey here in Ireland. I have so much admiration for the work they do here in Ireland to promote fish. They are also so creative with the products they launch under the Goatsbridge brand. My personal favourite is their trout caviar, which happens to pair beautifully with sake.