In Food Artisans of Japan, Nancy Singleton Hachisu introduces us to the chefs and artisans with whom she has formed lasting relationships following the phenomenal success of her most recent Japan: The Cookbook (Phaidon, 2018) as well her seminal works, Japanese Farm Food (Andrews McMeel, 2012) and Preserving the Japanese Way (Andrews McMeel, 2015).
Hachisu shares an in-depth knowledge and understanding of Japanese locales, the foods, and the artisans who work there. Each chef was chosen because he goes beyond courting media exposure or Michelin stars. Each chef's food is soulful. And each chef speaks deeply to Hachisu for genuine connection to local ingredients, unwavering desire to give back to the community, and common dedication to craft.
The book includes anywhere from 7 to 45 recipes from each chef, ranging from traditional Japanese to French- or Italian-influenced Japanese dishes created from regional ingredients. Each recipe is a collaboration between the chef and Hachisu, and therefore can be cooked successfully in either a home kitchen or restaurant. And bits and pieces of any chef recipe can be turned into a simple home cooked dish, or the recipe itself can serve as a blueprint for approaching the dish with seasonally available ingredients from your own locale.
The stunning art and design of Food Artisans of Japan feels both serene and mature. It is beautiful, but not excessively glitzy or over-designed. The book has a certain soberness that feels respectful, but not at all dull. This fresh, honest work delves into the vast ocean of Japanese culinary and artistic traditions, celebrating the chefs and artisans from around Japan.