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Japanese Cooking Courses London. Art Of French Cooking Volume 1.
Japanese Cooking Courses London
Yoshi's Jazz Club in Oakland
Yoshi's Jazz Club in Oakland - When you enter the space you will find hundreds of framed photographs of Jazz giants past and present on the walls of the restaurant. Seating in the performance area is larger than the venues I frequent in New York City (The Blue Note and The Iridium), yet the performance theater was packed for the Hiromi performance Saturday night. And of course the sushi was superb...
Yoshi's began in 1973 as a small, North Berkeley sushi bar owned by a trio of strling students with plenty of dreams. Its founder and namesake, Yoshie Akiba, orphaned during World War II, came to the U.S. to study fine arts, dance and dance therapy. She opened Yoshi's Japanese Restaurant with her two best friends Kaz Kajimura, a journalist and carpenter, and Hiroyuki Hori, a painter and Japanese cook. The original North-Berkeley, 25-seat restaurant quickly became successful and by 1977 the three partners moved to a larger space on Claremont Avenue in Oakland and began introducing live music in their restaurant. Over the next 20 years, Yoshi's built itself into one of the world's most respected jazz venues and won a reputation as the Bay Area's premier location for people who were looking for great food and the best jazz. Yoshi's has hosted legendary jazz greats such as Betty Carter, Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams, Diana Krall, Branford Marsalis, McCoy Tyner, Harry Connick Jr. and Oscar Peterson among hundreds of others.
In 1997, Yoshi's was invited by the Port of Oakland to relocate to Jack London Square as part of a plan to revitalize the area. Together with Morimoto Architects, Yoshi's built an award-winning 330-seat jazz club with a state-of-the-art sound system and design. Occupying 17,000 square feet in the heart of Jack London Square, the club is in it's tenth year in that location which has become one of the East Bay's greatest destinations. The restaurant and lounge have a combined capacity of 220. In 1998 Peter Williams was hired as the club's artistic director. Under his leadership, the club has continued to present the finest in jazz music, as well as world music, blues, neo-soul, latin jazz and afro-cuban music. In fall of 2006, Kajimura decided that it was time to elevate the menu to the quality of the jazz by recruiting Executive Chef Shotaro 'Sho' Kamio, one of the Bay Area's top chefs to make the change. Chef Kamio (formerly of Ozumo) brought a whole new generation of modern Japanese cuisine to Yoshi's, which instantly put it on the map as a destination to dine in addition to the best place to hear great live music.
"SOUND OF THE SEA"
After the seashells for the "sound of the sea" were placed in front of us, we were left to enjoy the squawking seagull sounds from the iPod hidden in the seashell. I wondered how frequently those ear buds were changed (for hygienic reasons – although the restaurant does charge enough to have that built into the tasting menu cost, if at least for the little foam covers). As much of this course has been described as gimmicky (mainly due to the iPod use), it was my favourite of the entire meal. I could forgo the pretentious sound effects (which got rather annoying after awhile, especially having to listen to a looping track of squawking seagulls whose company I don't always enjoy), but did appreciate the purposed of it (if I closed my eyes, I could feel myself escape from the cozy dining room or away from the company of my table companion for the duration of the course).
The one thing that struck me almost immediately was the stunning look of this course. If I had thought the dishes leading up to the sound of the sea were pretty bijoux, this was the ultimate tribute to coastal memories. The sand of this course was made with heat fried tapioca that was almost like a crumble, so light and toasty in its flavour, and seasoned ever so gently such that it embodied the saltiness of what I would imagine sand would taste like. In the "sand" was a scattering of deep fried baby eels (very common in those bags of Japanese coated peanut snacks), which reminded me of crispy briny bits that could be found on gourmet congees. I was most blown away with the bivalves that graced the surface of this ocean scene, including ultra sweet taste of the tender and freshly shucked clams and razor clams, and the way the raw oyster was able to add more fresh sea-like character to the already playful display. My mouth was delighted by the springy textures of the well placed bundles of mildly marinated (in a tasty sweetened soy dressing) hijiki, kaizo, and wakame seaweeds and thick waves of sea lettuce. To enhance this beach/seaside experience, the plate was garnished with a warm "sea foam" topping (composed of seaweed poaching liquid, clam liqueur, and seafood broth) that added both subtle aromatics and moisture to the very tasty course. Very well done and the highlight of my meal.
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