A tasting seminar and panel discussion with small bites and drinks.
Join Sam Mogannam, Bi-Rite owner and co-founder of 18 Reasons, as he moderates a conversation and tasting of Japanese food with Good Food activists, farmers, and exporters from Japan. Inspired by his most recent visit to Japan in October, Sam had the opportunity to hand harvest rice and bond with several farmers over their shared passion for responsible farming, clean food, and delicious sake.
What is Shizen-Saibai? It is Japan's response to industrial agriculture, where nature is respected. Through careful seed selection and increased awareness and development of a relationship with the soil, the plants, the weeds, and the pests, incredibly delicious crops are grown without the use of any chemicals or fertilizers. This method goes beyond organic, and much like biodynamic farming, the farmer and her land become one.
Japan is one of the largest pesticide consuming nations. Due to the inevitable risks to human and environmental health, a group of activist farmers, inspired by Akinori Kimura (click here for more info) Japan's leading expert on Shizen-Saibai farming, are changing the way the Japanese farm and eat. These farmers, in collaboration with importer Muso International (dba Japan Gold, USA), are now preparing to export their extraordinary products to the US. The first crop to land in the US will be an heirloom variety of rice from Hakui, in the famed Noto Peninsula, where a group of farmers and a rebel believer working for JA, the predominantly conventional national farming cooperative, are working together to change the way food is grown in Japan.
The success of this rice in the US represents so much more than economic security for these farmers. Its success will validate this movement in Japan, and will also inspire more farmers to convert their land away from chemically intensive farming methods and ensure that future generations have access to clean, arable soil and good, healthy food.
Included with the ticket is a 300g bag of the famed Shizen Hakui Rice.
MENU by Luka Ozeki, Bi-Rite Sushi Chef
Sashimi: Bigeye Tuna, Ling Cod, Uni, fresh Half Moon Bay Wasabi
Steamed Hakui Rice
with Sequoia Sake - Nama, Style: Junmai-Nama, Alc. 14-15% Light, fresh
Winter-style Miso Soup with Wild King Salmon, Hikari Farms Tokyo Turnips and Hakui Rice Onigiri
Local Black Cod Misoyaki with Pickled Hikari Farms Daikon
with Sequoia Sake - Genshu, Style: Junmai-Nama Genshu, Alc. 17-18% Bold, Dry
A tasting of Hikari Farms Vegetables
Akinori Kimura Apple Vinegar
with Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale
Vegan Sushi Sampler by Chef Aiko from Japan
with Sequoia Sake - Nigori, Style: Junmai-Nigori, Alc. 14-15% Lightly sweet, yet dry
Smoked Hakui Rice and Honey Ice Cream with a Hakui Rice Bran Cookie by Kris Hoogerhyde, Bi-Rite Creamery
(Photo courtesy of Sam Mogannam)