Finding beauty in rustic cuisine.
The art and philosophy of chef Toshiro Ogata, revealed in his own words.
At his two Michelin-starred restaurant tucked away in a picturesque alley in the heart of Kyoto, Toshiro Ogata captivates diners with one-of-a-kind cuisine born of a passionate and untiring inquiry into the essence of seasonal ingredients. In the seven chapters of this book—Water, Soil, Aroma, Heat, Salt, Cuts, Vessels—he reveals the elements forming his philosophy of what he terms the “rustic” in cuisine.
True to this philosophy—which calls for remembering and honoring the origins of food in nature—Ogata’s creations are consummately honed, yet powerfully redolent of soil and sea. Dramatic photographs showcase his artistry as presented on a range of fine vessels, from traditional Japanese Kenzan and Oribe wares to Korean Joseon-dynasty porcelain and Lucie Rie, all curated by the chef himself. Together with the notes on ingredients and procedures, the result is a book that will appeal alike to gourmets and antique art lovers, culinary experts and those simply looking to savor Ogata’s magic.
When I’m working with a particular vegetable, I think about raindrops seeping into the soil nourishing the plants. I picture drops of rain dripping from their leaves . . . These images flood my mind as I work, prompting me to express them in my dishes.
Ingredients are created by nature using soil, water, heat, and light. And cuisine is the art of transforming these ingredients through the use of human techniques. Appreciating this process creates tranquility for the soul.
Ogata was opened in 2008 by Toshiro Ogata (former Head Chef of Muromachi Wakuden) in Kyoto, Japan. Ogata has won two Michelin stars and is currently one of the most difficult restaurants to reserve in Kyoto. The cuisine – using the finest seasonal ingredients from across Japan and, naturally, Kyoto vegetables – is making a deep impression on gourmands with its reputation. This book is a collection of pictures by Gozen Etsuda, a photographer with an established reputation in food photography (winner of Gourmand World Cookbook Awards Best of the Best 1995–2014 in Art Photography category), communicating Ogata's delicately and daringly interpreted genuine Japanese cuisine of the modern age, and its philosophy. There are no recipes, however dishes are described in detail with accompanying beautiful images. This book is perfect for anyone seeking inspiration instead of concrete recipes.
Hardcover. 152 pages. Size: 12 x 11 x 1.2 inches. In Japanese and English.