'This will surprise you," says chef Kenichi Hashimoto as he hands me a glass of what appears to be beer. This serious-faced chef — who leads the kitchen at Kyoto's Ryozanpaku, a two-Michelin-starred kaiseki (Japanese haute cuisine) restaurant — waits for me to take a sip. He then explains that this fizzy drink is, in fact, a "super-highball" made with Suntory Hitomi (a rare single cask whisky from 1991) and soda, poured in alternating layers and capped with a thick head of creamy foam.

"The foam is also made of whisky, but the recipe is top secret," he says, before breaking into a smile and hitting me with a round of untranslatable Japanese puns (many of which were cringe-worthy but endearing nonetheless).

Hashimoto traveled to Tokyo last week — along with his arsenal of dad jokes — to prepare a special kaiseki dinner with Japanese whisky pairing at The Ritz-Carlton's Hinokizaka restaurant. The meal was part of the 4th Annual Asia-Pacific Food and Wine Festival, a spectacular five-day series of events hosted by The Ritz-Carlton. Held for the first time in Tokyo, this year's festival featured 11 top chefs and artisans from France, Peru, Spain, Singapore and Japan — including Paco Perez, whose three restaurants in Spain have garnered a total of five Michelin stars, and Peru's Virgilio Martinez, of Central Restaurante, which was recently named No. 1 in the S. Pellegrino list of Latin America's 50 best restaurants. Each event features a different winery, brewery, or distillery.