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Melinda Joe

Melinda Joe is an American journalist in Tokyo. A certified wine and sake professional, she writes about Japanese drinks in her Kanpai Culture column for The Japan Times and blogs at tokyodrinkingglass.blogspot.com.

For Melinda Joe's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Sushi is evolving but Japan still wears the crown

Dec 11, 2015

Sushi is evolving but Japan still wears the crown

“A sushi chef’s hands are always clean,” Kazutoshi Endo, the head sushi chef of London’s Zuma, once told me during dinner at an izakaya (pub). This comment came after he suddenly used his fingers to place a piece of fishcake on my plate, in ...

Desserts and paired sake at Tokyo's Tirpse

| Nov 13, 2015

Desserts and paired sake at Tokyo's Tirpse

Last month, I surprised myself by polishing off a six-course lunch consisting entirely of desserts. As anyone who knows me can attest, I was born without a sweet tooth. However, when Naotaka Ohashi, owner of the contemporary French restaurant Tirpse, told me that he ...

Testing the culinary limits of Arita Pottery

Oct 30, 2015

Testing the culinary limits of Arita Pottery

For a few weeks in August and September, Yoshiyasu Harada hardly slept a wink. The young master potter of Kichiemon Porcelain Co. Ltd., in Saga Prefecture, had been immersed in making dozens of intricate ceramic plates. In Harada’s studio shards of broken pottery cover ...