The former Japanese capital of Kyoto has throughout the times been known for its cultural sights and traditions. Among them is the gastronomy, which many believe has had a crucial influence on Japanese cuisine. In particular “Kaiseki” is regarded as having formed the basis for the development of Japanese food culture.From a historical perspective, Kyoto has had a long lasting food culture, which was particularly prominent from the Heian period (year 794) until the Meijin period (year 1869). During this time, countless chefs with advanced culinary skills prepared the food at the imperial palace.
Kaiseki is Kyoto’s famous gastronomy and clearly mirrors the depth of the culture and the traditions.The inspiration originates from the tea ceremony and a mindset based on the word “Ichigo-ichie” – which means to appreciate everything in life since nothing repeats itself.The idea is also that Kaiseki must be served with heartfelt sincerity and that the guest must be able to get a sense of the season from the aroma and taste of the seasonal ingredients.Original Kaiseki is characterised by the fact that the entire composition consists of courses prepared in five different ways.These five different modes of preparation are: raw, grilled, boiled, steamed, and deep fried.Kyoto’s cooking is generally known for mild flavours, and it is the chef’s ability which becomes the determining factor in extracting the natural flavours that the seasonal ingredients have to offer.
Kaiseki should be served in relation to the season, and the courses are elegantly prepared with carefully selected ingredients and using sophisticated techniques. This results in small but delicate culinary portions, which are served one at a time.The choice of bowls, plates, and porcelain is important to the service, and great care is taken with the composition and presentation of the courses. As mentioned, the content of Kaiseki varies according to the season and to its ingredients; therefore, the decorative leaves and flowers also vary. In particular, the MOMIJI leaves are a great Japanese attraction.