The fall semester at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) introduces a special course; Advanced Cooking: Japanese Cuisine. The class, offered to juniors and seniors pursuing a CIA bachelor's degree, will be jointly taught by CIA Chef Martin Matysik (who lived and worked in Japan) and Chef Hiroki Murashima of the world-renowned Tsuji Culinary Institute in Osaka.
Chef Murashima will serve as the CIA's inaugural Suntory Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies, a new position created with the support of Suntory Group, one of the world's leading consumer product companies.
"The growing popularity of Japanese cuisine is clear and evident. Sushi and ramen are easy to find at supermarkets and neighborhood restaurants across the country. Top American chefs are increasingly looking to Japan for deep insights on flavor, technique, and design," says CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan. "We are delighted to collaborate with Suntory in making this world heritage of food culture more accessible to the talented chefs of tomorrow through this new initiative."
The Advanced Cooking: Japanese Cuisine curriculum covers Japanese history and culture, along with the ingredients, flavors, textures, and techniques of authentic Japanese cooking. It delves into dashi stocks, rice and noodles, sushi, tempura, and the principles of umami, as well as kaiseki cuisine and the cultural aspects of the Japanese dining table. The class meets once a week throughout the semester, beginning on September 13. Students will also participate in a field trip to experience leading Japanese restaurants and retail operations in New York City. The 18-student class filled up the first day it was offered to CIA students.
The course and the launch of a broader CIA Japanese studies initiative are underwritten by a multi-year grant from Suntory.
"Japan, its rich culinary traditions, techniques, and dishes are increasingly becoming focal points of exploration for young chefs pursuing advanced culinary arts. As a company deeply rooted in Japanese culture for more than a century, Suntory is thrilled to join with the CIA in teaching Advanced Japanese cuisine," says Suntory President and CEO Takeshi Niinami. "I believe this initiative will help bring an even greater appreciation and know-how of the art of Japanese cuisine directly to the next generation of top chefs in the U.S."
As the initiative expands, the curricula will include a greater depth of instruction in Japanese agriculture and the production of traditional foods and beverages, as well as ways to adapt Japanese flavors and products into innovative American menus. Opportunities for international travel/study experiences in Japan as part of the CIA's bachelor's degree programs are also under development.