The agriculture ministry said Thursday it has chosen eight chefs, including Hisao Nagahigashi of Kyoto, as the recipients of this year’s “cooking master” award, given primarily in recognition of work to promote Japanese cuisine overseas and for contributing to revitalizing their local economies.
Nagahigashi, 60, of the restaurant Sojiki Nakahigashi, is known for a style featuring locally grown vegetables. He is also credited with inspiring a growing number of young people to engage in organic farming.
Takayoshi Yamaguchi, 40, of Sushidokoro Mekumi in Nonoichi, Ishikawa Prefecture, was recognized for maintaining strong roots in his community and for introducing refined cooking skills to overseas audiences.
Two other recipients were from establishments offering Japanese cuisine. They are Hideo Anami, 62, of Honkogetsu in the city of Osaka, and Hideki Ishikawa, 47, of Kagurazaka Ishikawa in Tokyo.
The remaining recipients are Noboru Katsumata, 65, of Auberge au Mirador, a French restaurant in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture; Kinzo Nishihara, 59, of Patisserie au Grenier d’Or in the city of Kyoto; Tomohiro Yabuzaki, 38, of Natural Chinese Restaurant Essence in Tokyo; and Yuji Wakiya, 54, of Wakiya Ichiemicharo, another Chinese restaurant in Tokyo.
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