Elizabeth Andoh's decades-long passion for cooking and Japanese cuisine had an unlikely catalyst: A bowl of awful udon noodles.
For Joan Bailey's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Chef Yoko Higuchi knows what it takes to get Fukushima Prefecture's agricultural produce back on the map: honesty. "My customers trust me not only to give them good food, but that it contains what I say it contains, that it comes from where I ...
From five holy basil seeds, an oregano plant, a few stems of orange mint, six fig tree cuttings and a handful of butterfly pea seeds, Marie-Josee Laforest's sprouts have grown to become a 200-hectare organic permaculture farm in the mountains Oita Prefecture.
In the past four years, if you've stepped into Isetan Shinjuku and checked out one of its in-store displays, chances are you've seen Tokiko Iino's food styling designs.
Chie Nishimura's business, Farm Canning, uses around 1,000 kilograms of organic "ugly vegetables" per year, turning them into canned preserves and healthy catered meals.
After a transformative bread-tasting experience in California, Lee Utsumi knew she wanted to become a baker and now runs her own natural bakery, Lee's Bread, in Oiso, Kanagawa Prefecture.
With the average age of farmers in Japan over 65 and predicted to decline in the next decade, Takako Yoshino hopes to inspire a new generation of younger farmers.
Through its farmer's market, cafe-supermarket and community events, Eat Local Kobe is building a sustainable and robust network to support the region's small organic farmers.
For his food truck, Sameya, owner-chef Takumi Takase has developed a delicious menu of dishes using shark meat from Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, providing a stable income for local fishermen.
Hidehito Komaki pulls a dried pod from the flowering stem of a cabbage plant and carefully splits it. Both sides are lined with tiny brown beads. "Each of these is a seed," Komaki explains to those clustered around him. "A single cabbage plant produces ...