This is an era of gastronomic collaboration. Chefs fly from one continent to another, swapping kitchens, recipes and sometimes even their homes. But rarely does this restless cross-fertilization of ideas and techniques involve the world of washoku, Japan's traditional cuisine.

That is why it was a major coup when three of Tokyo's top chefs arrived in Barcelona early last month. They were there to prepare a series of dinners in the city and, later on, in Ibiza — the first events of this kind to be held in Spain, or indeed anywhere in Europe.

For Tokyo gourmets, none of the three need any introduction. They are among the very best in their categories: Sushi maestro Takaaki Sugita, whose eponymous restaurant in Nihonbashi is revered by local connoisseurs of Edo-style sushi; yakitori supremo Yoshiteru Ikegawa of the revered restaurant Torishiki; and Kentaro Nakahara, whose mastery of wagyū beef has made his Sumibiyakiniku grill a place of pilgrimage for visiting epicureans.