Northern California Culinary Diplomacy Event

October 01, 2015 at 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Private Residence in Pacific Heights

We thank Council Member Dianne Fukami for her contributions to this report!

(L-R) Council Member Dianne Fukami and Board Member Allen Okamoto greet attendees as they enter

Nearly 120 people attended “Taste of Tohoku,” a culinary diplomacy event organized by Northern California members of the U.S.-Japan Council on October 1. Held at the official residence of the Consul General of Japan in San Francisco, it was an appreciation dinner to thank attendees who had donated to “Rias no Mori,” a non-profit organization in the Tohoku area committed to supporting survivors of the disaster there nearly five years ago.
Consul General Jun Yamada, who is from the Tohoku area, hosted the affair and lent the services of his chef, Katsuyuki Takahashi, known for his kaiseki talents. Using a variety of ingredients all sourced from Tohoku, Chef Takahashi created a gourmet meal of three different kinds of soups, beef stew, beef tongue, shabu shabu Iwate beef, squid and carrots,kamabokozunda rice cakes, sashimi, chirashi and a dessert using peaches from Fukushima.

A sampling of the delicious food served at the event

Guests were also treated to a sake tasting featuring more than a dozen different types all produced in the Tohoku region. Organizers were members of the USJC Board of Directors Allen Okamoto and Jan Yanehiro, and Council Members Dianne Fukami, John Noguchi, Steve Teraoka, Tasha Yorozu and Kaz Maniwa (who is also Senior Vice President at USJC). 

Guests included members of the USJC Board of Councilors Hiro Ogawa (who generously donated a case of Kenzo wines) and Susie Roos, Former Ambassador John Roos, and a number of other members and community supporters.

Ms. Yanehiro relishing the wonderful food and great company

Ms. Yanehiro served as emcee, with short remarks by Consul General Yamada, Mr. Okamoto (who talked about USJC and its commitment to Tohoku), and Ms. Fukami (who gave an update on the recovery and rebuilding efforts in Tohoku). Ambassador Roos led the guests in a rousing cheer of “kampai!” All guests received a gift bag (with gifts from Kikkoman, ITO EN, and Hosoda Bros) when they left.

(L-R) Former Ambassador Roos, Consul General Yamada, Mr. Okamoto, and Ms. Yanehiro 

By all accounts it was a highly successful evening. Guests were able to experience the bounty from Tohoku presented in a gourmet setting in a beautiful residence, and to sip and sample as much Tohoku sake as they wished. All proceeds went to Rias No Mori. We thank the Consulate-General and all sponsors for their strong support!

For more pictures of this event, please view our Flickr album.



We thank our generous sponsors for their contributions to this event.