An Afternoon with Obento

May 19, 2012 at 6pm - 9pm
Textile Museum
Washington, DC
United States
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Attendees assemble obento boxes at the event

On May 19th, Chef and Author Debra Samuels opened her heart and recipe book through an interactive program at the Textile Museum, which welcomed U.S.-Japan Council Members and friends to learn the art of obento. As Debra explained, Obento is much more than a lunch box; it is literally Japanese culture in a box. Debra lived in Japan for over a decade, where she learned the important role that balance, color, texture and nutrition play in lunch-box culture. In her presentation, she juxtaposed an American child’s typical school lunch of a juice box and sandwich, complete with a love note from mom, against a beautifully presented, creative and cute obento for a Japanese child. While the Japanese lunch did not have a note from mom, it was noted that a lot of love was directed into making the Japanese lunch. When attendees showed a hint of exasperation at the amount of work involved in making one lunchbox, Debra revealed that the secret to making obento is having great leftovers from dinner. After her presentation on Japanese cuisine, attendees assembled obento boxes with recipes from Debra’s latest book: “My Japanese Table: A Lifetime of Cooking with Friends and Family.”