On Feb 17th you have the rare opportunity to partake of a special kaiseki meal jointly prepared by young chefs from four established Kyoto restaurants, which will highlight the culinary cultural heritage and traditional foods of Kyoto.
The participating restaurants include:
Imobō Hiranoya Honke いもぼう平野家本家
Established in the early 1700s, this restaurant specializes in the eponymous dish, imobō 芋棒, made from a type of taro, ebi-imo 海老芋, and a dried and cured form of cod called bōdara 棒鱈, a specialty of Kyoto that is particularly associated with the New Year. You can read more about the fascinating history and tradition of Imobō here.
Since 1781, Izuu has been serving a traditional Kyoto sushi known as sabazushi 鯖寿司, cured mackerel that has been wrapped in thick kombu seaweed and placed on a generous portion of lightly vinegared rice. You can read more about the history of Izuu, and the role of sabazushi in Kyoto’s culinary traditions, here. You can also see a short video about the restaurant here. The head chef is Shōgo Sasaki.
Located nearby to Byōdōin, the World Heritage ‘Phoenix Temple’, on the banks of the Uji River, Tatsumiya was established in 1840 as a tea house. The restaurant is now known as an elegant kaiseki establishment that features matcha in many of its courses. You can read an English review of Tatsumiya here. The head chef is Sōichirō Hidari 左聡一郎, who is the 8th generation head of Tatsumiya and stresses the importance of maintaining the unique taste traditions of Uji, such as macha-ryōri (made with green tea).
Toriyone is located in Arashiyama and has its own hot spring set in a beautiful garden, which can be enjoyed by restaurant guests. Whilst also featuring seasonal kaiseki meals, Toriyone specializes in chicken dishes, particularly its signature chicken hotpot, ikedori mizutaki 活鶏水炊. The head chef is Yoshinori Tanaka 田中良典, who is also a director of the Kyoto Mebaekai Association, which focuses on education about Kyoto’s culinary traditions.