Five more Women of Taste to offer you some inspiration in the kitchen in 2021, courtesy of Joan Bailey:

  • For Masayo Funakoshi, being a chef is an art and food her ideal medium. At her restaurant Farmoon in Kyoto, art, music and community come together around an eclectic mix of dishes made using local ingredients, flavored with spices from much farther afield.
  • Ever wondered how love or jealousy might taste? Since childhood, Ayako Suwa has been exploring the link between emotions and food. “As human beings, we’re still not at our full potential,” she says. “My greatest wish is to open our senses and turn the off switch to on, so we can continue evolving.”
Ayako Suwa’s motto is 'To eat is to live, but to taste is to evolve.' | ITTETSU MATSUOKA
Ayako Suwa’s motto is ‘To eat is to live, but to taste is to evolve.’ | ITTETSU MATSUOKA
  • Keiko Seto is pushing the limits of vegan food. The art director-turned-chef harnesses organic produce for the multicultural, plant-based menu at Mique in Tokyo. The career change came after the 3/11 disasters, she explains. “When the earthquake came, I thought I should focus on what I love, and that was food.”
  • Odds are you’ve never heard of Tsugaru, in northwest Aomori Prefecture. But its centuries-old cuisine has drawn the attention of Japan’s culinary notables, and today the traditions are carefully preserved and passed on by a passionate group of female farmers calling themselves the Akatsuki no Kai (Dawn Club).
  • Want a deeper understanding of Tokyo’s culinary landscape? Just ask Yukari Sakamoto. The first foreign national to become an advisor on Japan’s shōchū spirit, this chef, sommelier and tour guide built her career on sharing Tokyo’s best with the world.