"It was a great tour that gave a lot of insight in to how cuisine in Kyoto has evolved and the socio-cultural reasons that the food is how it is. The tour was fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to experience foods that they otherwise might pass over."
Kyoto Food Tour - From Pickled Vegetables to Sweet Japanese Treats
During his first foray to a Kyoto food market, Tad was so excited and intrigued by the beautiful displays of strange ingredients that he vowed to learn to cook Japanese food. He poured over photo-illustrated cookbooks and magazines, learning to read Japanese characters from the pictures. Whenever he encountered a new dish, he hunted down the recipe, searching for cookbooks in old bookshops and at the book fairs of Shimogamo Shrine and Chion-ji Temple. With his Japanese “family,” he spent hours at the dining table and in the kitchen absorbing the flavors and cooking methods of kyobanzai home cooking. He bantered for advice from fishmongers, vegetable sellers and tofu makers. At kaiseki restaurants he trained his eye: from kappo restaurant chefs he stole snatches of technique, from a Zen monk he learned the importance of respecting ingredients just as they are. He cooked and cooked and cooked. Today, over twenty years since his first visit, he loves to share his knowledge and enthusiasm about the many delicacies of Nishiki Market.
Alexander, originally from New York, has lived in Kyoto for 6 years. After finishing his BA in East Asian studies at Brown University he went on to take a master’s degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania, where he focused on pre-modern Japanese Buddhism. In early 2012, he began training in the craft of Japanese knife making, which he is pursuing full-time. Passionate about Japanese craftsmanship and culture, he enjoys sharing his knowledge and experiences with others.
Robin's background is varied: from design, animation & illustration, to co-running a local food company in Dublin, Ireland, to work in the Specialty Coffee scene, acting as a brand ambassador for European specialty coffee companies in Europe. She loves learning new things and sharing her passions for food, coffee and design with others.
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