Local, seasonal food might be a relatively new trend in American cooking, but in Japan it’s part of a Buddhist tradition that dates back centuries. Japanese monks are now teaching a new generation of chefs to use seasonal ingredients – and zen principles – to elevate their cooking. Abigail Leonard is a Tokyo-based reporter/producer who covers Japanese culture and politics. She produced a wonderful field report about Buddhist shojin ryori ("devotion cuisine"). Listen to the story via the audio player above. Leonard also shared these related links for travelers wishing to seek out shojin ryori restaurants and cooking classes in Japan.
TOKYO - SHOJIN RYORI RESTAURANTS AND COOKING CLASSES
(** featured in story)
Sougo**: high-end, shojin ryori restaurant in Roppongi, Tokyo. Chef Daisuke Nomura also holds cooking classes there.
Ryokusenji Temple**: Monk Kakuho Aoe is chief priest and holds “dining in the dark” events that visitors can attend.
Akasaka Teran**: cooking school at Jokokuji Temple with classes taught by a Buddhist priest.
Takao-san Temple: restaurant inside Takao-san temple
Koya-san Temple: restaurant inside Koya-san Temple.
Tera Cafe: shojin-ryori cafe run by nuns.
Komaki Shokudo: casual shojin ryori restaurant that also organizes cooking classes
KYOTO - SHOJIN RYORI RESTAURANTS
Each week, The Splendid Table brings you stories that expand your world view, inspire you to try something new and show how food brings us together. We rely on you to do this. And, when you donate, you'll become a member of The Splendid Table Co-op. It's a community of like-minded individuals who love good food, good conversation and kitchen companionship. Splendid Table Co-op members will get exclusive content each month and have special opportunities for connecting with The Splendid Table team.
Donate today for as little as $5.00 a month. Your gift only takes a few minutes and has a lasting impact on The Splendid Table and you'll be welcomed into The Splendid Table Co-op.