Tuesday, May 25, 2010

International Student Dinner at Rosanjin

It was a rainy day, and our umbrellas danced with the wind on our way to Rosanjin. The restaurant's staff warmly greeted us upon our arrival—little did we know about the amazing dinner that was about to start.

A menu had been specifically created for us: an early summer was the theme. Different and exotic seafood had been shipped in from Japan earlier that week especially for our meal. The dinner had a special flow designed to increase the experience of each course, going from a light and delicate appetizer to a fulfilling bowl of rice towards the end. We learned a lot about authentic Kyoto-style Kaiseki cuisine.

My favorite dish was zensai, the first course, an interesting mix of hama fish sushi, homemade tofu with caviar, miso-marinated firefly squid, broccoli wrapped in smoked salmon, and pollock roe watermelon. I found myself completely overwhelmed when this dish was carefully placed in front of me, but then came an explanation about the chef’s creation and how to appreciate it.

Sake pairing was optional, but our entire party ordered it. There were five sakes, each followed by a brief explanation. Cloudy, sweet, fruity, and sophisticated sakes enhanced our dinner experience, and we learned how to appreciate their aromas and a little bit about sake and food pairing.

I had a pleasant conversation with students from a variety of levels, programs, and countries. Needless to say, we all share our love for food, but it was amazing to learn a little bit more about how each one of us sees it according to our culture.

Paula Tanaka Camara is a Brazilian Food Engineer currently enrolled in the fifth level of Classic Culinary Arts. After working for a few years in the food industry, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a chef and integrating her background into a life in the kitchen. You can read more (in Portuguese) about her culinary experiences on her blog and online column.

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