Fine dining or street food, the coronavirus makes no distinction. So how does a chef at the apex of the high-end pyramid deal with the COVID-19 shutdown? In the case of Yoshihiro Narisawa, he gets busy.
Restaurant Narisawa is still operating a full lunch and dinner service, albeit with generous table spacing and curtailed evening hours. But for those observing calls to self-isolate, he has formulated various iterations of his menu for takeout and home delivery ranging from ¥15,000 to a hefty ¥35,000 a head. Orders over a certain level are brought to your home personally by a member of his staff as long as you are within a 15 minute radius by car.
Meanwhile, his nearby basement spinoff operation, Bees Bar by Narisawa, is now serving a daytime takeout service, with half a dozen menu choices to pick from. Starting from just ¥1,300, they also include a vegan option.
Recently, Narisawa also launched a new initiative, which he calls “Keep in Touch with Farmer.” He is encouraging people to buy directly from his cadre of trusted suppliers who grow the superlative vegetables that he uses in his restaurants.
The aim is threefold. First, to give consumers access to quality organic ingredients, rather than having to depend on their local supermarkets. Second, to ensure these producers can survive the coronavirus shakeout. And last, to prevent the food they have grown from going to waste, exacerbating Japan’s already low self-sufficiency rate.