Tuesday, February 26, 2019

#ChefontheRoad Japan 2019

My first proper #Chefontheroad trip was nearly 6 years ago. I was a young chef cooking European food in Bombay without ever having visited France, Italy and Spain, the countries I was culinarily focused on. It was during those 4 incredible months traveling across 36 towns and cities when I fell in love with food travel. The idea was to immerse myself entirely in a destination, discovering and learning about its culture and people through food exploration.

It took me a few weeks to figure out a 'system' while on the road, being efficient about my time and money, and finding the right balance of detailed planning vs leaving stuff to chance. I was hooked. Clearly. Because I haven't stopped since.

Over time, I realised that these #ChefontheRoad trips have taught me more about food than any book, school or kitchen experience ever has. And in spite of the struggles and pain points involved, that's what keeps me going back and doing it again and again. 

After having life changing, food travel experiences across India and Europe over the last 6 years,  I’m coming up on my first #ChefOnTheRoad food trip of 2019. This time around mid March, I'll be heading overseas to incredible, timeless Japan!

Japan has always been on top of my bucket list of travel destinations, and for years I have yearned to be amidst those artisans and chefs who epitomise dedication to a craft. Japanese cuisine is steeped in ancient tradition and heritage, and just like in India, the food changes drastically from one region to another. Their respect for ingredients and seasonality is unparalleled, and there's a lot of care and thought put into techniques and presentation. And of course, there's a lot more to Japanese cuisine than sushi and ramen, and I'm super excited to explore and uncover it all!

I've already started putting together an itinerary that includes Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka & Hokkaido, and as always I'm looking to connect with food experts or local chefs in any of these cities, as well as for great local dining recommendations, sake breweries, bars, food markets and street food experiences. The idea is to not just get a crash course in the country’s wonderful food,  but also shed light on the unbelievable richness of the cuisine and culture of Japan. So damn excited for this one.