Midwest Culinary Diplomacy Event

February 04, 2015 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Yoshi's Cafe
3257 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60657
United States
Google map and directions


Chef Yoshi and a guest

On February 4th, USJC held the inaugural Midwest Culinary Diplomacy Event at the Chicago neighborhood restaurant, Yoshi’s Café. USJC Members, supporters and friends joined some of Yoshi’s regular diners for a fun evening of networking, inspiration and delicious cuisine. 

Consul General Yoshida speaking to guests (Seated: Mrs. Yoshida)

Chef Yoshi Katsumura and his wife, Nobuko, opened their café to this special event, sharing a creative feast that combined Midwest classics with a unique Japanese flavor. Chicago Consul General Masaharu Yoshida offered warm opening remarks before the 40+ guests. Chicago-based Board Member Dayne Kono, USJC Executive Vice President & COO Suzanne Basalla and Council Member Kathryn Ibata-Arens shared information on the Council and its programs. The highlight of the evening was the inspiring stories told by three DePaul University students, who recently visited Japan with Dr. Ibata-Arens as TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars. The TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars Program is designed to honor the legacy of Senator Inouye, and as part of the KAKEHASHI Project, is funded by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and supported by the Japan Foundation. 

Dr. Ibata-Arens, Ms. Basalla, Mr. Kono and TOMODACHI Inouye Scholars from DePaul University

It is hoped that this special evening of fine dining, community and friendship is the first of many Midwest culinary diplomacy events to come. Special thanks to Chef Yoshi and Nobuko Katsumura for hosting, Ms. Reiko Takahashi for her help with design graphics and photography and to Dayne Kono, George Kobayashi, and the leadership of Masuda, Funai, Eifert & Mitchell, Ltd. for their contributions to the evening’s success!


Click here to see more photos from the event.