National Restaurant Association Show 2011 "Umami Seminar"
On the purpose to introduce the attractive essence of Japanese cuisine and promote the awareness of umami which plays an important role in Japanese cuisine, the Umami Seminar hosted by Organization to Promote Japanese Restaurants Abroad (JRO) was held in International Restaurant Show 2011 on May 23rd at McCormick place, Chicago. This seminar was started with the introduction about umami by Culinary Producer Jenna Zimmerman of Food Network. She told that while umami had been recognized in Japan for a long time, it was a novel culinary concept in U.S. and its popularity was definitively going on rise. and then the lectures about the basic knowledge of umami, the attractive Japanese ingredients, demonstration on how to enhance the flavor of the dishes by umami was led by Dr. Shintaro Yoshida of Umami Information Center. Mr. Takashi Yagihashi, the chef and owner of Takashi Restaurant provided the dashi, the Japanese soup-stock which is the simple umami solution, and educate the audiences about umami and its importance in Japanese cuisine. And then, Mr. Fred Sabo, the executive chef of the Metropolitan Museum of Art gave the audience his dishes cooked with dashi, and explained how to add umami to your dishes and how to use the Japanese umami-rich condiments and ingredients.
At first, lectures worried about few audiences, because they thought that the foods imported from Japan must be avoided because of the Japanese tragedy. However, so many audiences were still very interested in umami, the Japanese umami-rich condiments and ingredients, and want to know how to use umami in their dishes. We hoped that this lecture would help the people working in the US foodservice to become familiar with umami, the Japanese umami-rich condiments and ingredients, and they would try to develop the umami-rich recipes by themselves.