CNN’s ‘Food for Thought’ explores the sustainable culinary trends in Tokyo

PRNewswire January 12, 2023

HONG KONG, Jan. 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — This month, CNN’s ‘Food for Thought’ travels to Tokyo, the city that many refer to as the culinary capital of the world. Tokyo has held its reputation as the city with the most Michelin stars in the world with over 200 exceptional dining locations, and now 12 top Tokyo restaurants have a Michelin Green Star in recognition of their dedication to sustainable ingredients and methods of cooking. In this brand-new 30-minute program, CNN visits five Michelin Green Star establishments, meeting the creators behind exquisite food with an environmental conscience. ‘Food for Thought’ explores what food trends like plant-based food, sustainable fishing and food waste reduction look like for high-end fine dining.

The biggest problem related to CO2 emission in the culinary world is growing livestock, says Kotaro Noda, Executive Chef of FARO, who aims at providing fine dining through vegan dishes minimising the emission of carbon dioxide. The Italian-Japanese restaurant won its first Michelin star with Noda at the helm in 2021, going on to win a green Michelin star the following year for its commitment to local, seasonal produce and a wide array of vegan dishes, such as potato spaghetti, vegan panna cotta made with soy milk and asparagus, and even a vegan cheese board. In charge of desserts is Italian trained pastry chef, Mineko Kato, whose stunning creations look more like modern art than food.

Next, CNN hears from legendary Japanese chef Yoshihiro Narisawa who has developed a signature style all his own. In reverence to the power of local ingredients, he embraced Japan’s “satoyama” culture — “a place where people and nature coexist in harmony with forests and the sea”. Narisawa calls his culinary approach “innovative satoyama cuisine”, channelling Japan’s traditional regenerative farming system in dishes such as Soup of the Soil and Bread of the Forest.

Chef and owner of Ma Cuisine, Ryosuke Ikejiri, creates high-end comfort food in his cosy French bistro in central Tokyo. Organic vegetables grown with cyclical farming and unutilised fish from sustainable producers add to his green credentials but it is the renowned Tokushima pork that forms his signature ingredient. Ikejiri uses this for his speciality, fromage de tête, prepared using cuts from the pig’s head.

Lature is a French restaurant but more on the red-blooded side of gallic cooking, where wild game is front and centre. CNN meets Takuto Murota, chef and owner of Lature, who believes that humans have a mission to manage the overabundance of wild game, which has become a problem in parts of Japan. He says that’s why he became a licensed hunter and is just as at home tramping through the forest on the hunt for game as he is preparing it in his Tokyo kitchen. Murato has experimental dishes like macaroons made with deer blood, while meat pies make the centrepiece of the seasonal menu. He also reduces waste by using misshapen vegetables which he says are often discarded in Japan.

Finally, CNN visits Florilège, a Michelin two-starred restaurant which has gained a Michelin Green Star thanks to head chef and owner Hiroyasu Kawate‘s dedication to using ingredients that are simple and sustainable. Kawate uses those ingredients to create unique dishes for his guests seated around a large open kitchen. Here they have ringside seating to the preparation of his spectacular tasting menus, which he and his chefs present with the story behind each dish.

Food for Thought trailer: 

Food for Thought images: 

Airtimes for 30-minute special:

Saturday, January 14 at 1:30pm HKT

Sunday, January 15 at 12pm HKT

Monday, January 16 at 6:30am HKT

About CNN International 

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