ARAS Journal regularly collaborates with chefs to discuss how to use ARAS at home and to expand the range of serving styles. In this issue, we interviewed Mr. Toru Okagawa "Ponta" Okagawa, owner of PLAT HOME, and Mr. Tatsuya Uemachi, representative of secca inc. We asked him to serve dishes using ARAS vessels, and he talked about how he enjoys serving dishes and the concept of dishes and vessels. This is the second part of the series.
Please enjoy the professional chef's thoughts on serving dishes using ARAS, how he enjoys serving them, and actual examples of serving dishes.
Vessels that show the "expression of the creator".
Shrimp, squid, tuna, young corn, okra, Kanazawa futo cucumber, sudachi, fermented plum sauce.
Hors-d'oeuvre 1: Yakumi wasabi, chopped ginger in soy sauce, celery tsukudani.
Hors-d'oeuvre ➁: Rice, avocado.
When I first received this scoop plate, I asked myself, "What should I serve, and how?" I thought about this. Suddenly, I remembered what Mr. Uemachi told me about this vessel when I first met him. (*Journal link to Mr. Uemachi's article) It is a calculated vessel.
Combining Mr. Uemachi's idea of scoop and my culinary expression, I thought, "What about scooping sashimi?" I thought about it. Normally, it is not common to eat sashimi by scooping it, is it? It would be fun as an experience.
It would not be fun to eat only squishy things when scooped with a spoon, so I added young corn to give it a more enjoyable texture. The original sauce is made from fermented plums. The condiments are wasabi, chopped ginger in shoyu, and celery tsukudani.
You can eat it as it is or mix them all together. Because of the sourness of the plum and the sashimi, we served it with rice so that you can eat it as if it were sushi rice. It can be eaten as sashimi or as a seafood bowl. I have such a story in my mind.
Everything is "scooped" to completion. The creator's intention was taken into account, and the idea was leapfrogged. It is truly wonderful.
Sardines, paprika, shiso flower, pea vines
Sardines were baked in a large amount of oil. The image is similar to marinating in oil. I kept a pool of oil underneath and put the sardines on it. The depth of the scoop makes it suitable for soup. It is designed so that the pooled soup forms a circular shape.
I wanted to use it for "scooping" or "eating soup. The height and width of the bowl were balanced for serving.
container of both sexes (e.g. fish, meat, etc.)
In the average household, we don't often have the opportunity to use artist's vessels. We are more likely to choose vessels that were created through the system of mass production. Do you think that the role of tableware changes when you look at it from the perspective of the "home" rather than the "store"?
Mass-produced products" are things you encounter. For example, you might encounter something at a general store and think, "Oh, this is cute.
A piece of originality like the ARAS bowls will make your heart flutter with the feeling you get when you encounter it. Even in the same home dining experience, you will want to choose when something good happens, such as "Today is my birthday.
I believe that the role of the household vessel is "attachment. The dishes handled in a restaurant are part of the chef's expression and serve as an interface between the restaurant and its customers. For example, when you place your chopsticks on it, you "feel a boundary. It is a state of being immersed in the world of the other party (the restaurant), not in your (the customer's) realm.
The home vessel may be transformed into an attachment through daily contact with it. From there, it gradually becomes an object that cannot be thrown away.
That may depend on the person. I think there is a big difference between those who develop an attachment to their vessels and those who treat them carelessly because they are "mass-produced. I think that many people who like ARAS vessels enjoy the aging process.
The view of aging in resin is both a challenge and an exciting part of the future. Our idea is only to propose "one option in the home" with new materials, including the current sustainable context.
Regarding the sustainable aspect, I am very fascinated. If this context does not stay as a trend and continues in the future, ARAS will become a basic "vessel in daily life". As a consumer, I sincerely hope that ARAS will be widely communicated to the world. Not only "because of its unique design," but also because of the environmental considerations it represents.
I believe this is one of the reasons for people to pick up our vessels.
─ ─ What was your impression of ARAS's tableware through this creative cuisine?
What I can cite as the strong point is, first and foremost, the ease of use. Also, it is interesting to come up with new ideas for dishes. When I was given a dish, I thought, "Which way should I serve it? I would pick up the dish, look at it from various angles, and think, "What is the best expression? It was a fun experience.
You had me worried as I thought you would (laughs). If you use resin vessels in your restaurant, what is your intention?
This time I am using these vessels at room temperature. The sense of temperature when you touch them is also a sensation that is connected to the sense of season. For example, the expression changes when the vessels are cooled. Or, if it is heated, the expression will also change. With resin, the basic rule is to use it at room temperature. This can be said to be an advantage.
The other day, we had the opportunity to use cutlery at A_RESTAURANT (*link attached). The experience of "being able to taste the ingredients as they are" when eating cold food was unique.
For example, when you eat something that is kinky and cold, using stainless steel cutlery at room temperature, the temperature range changes due to heat conduction. When you prepare your own food, even if you serve it saying, "This is the best temperature," the temperature will change when it enters the customer's mouth. When that happens, the flavors change as well; ARAS cutlery, like lacquer, allows you to enjoy the temperature of the ingredients as they are.
So when you want to produce temperature, it is not an option, but when you want to convey the temperature of the food as it is, resin could be chosen. It will be interesting to see if resin becomes one of the different materials used in restaurants as well as at home.
After the Conversation
───How did you see Okagawa-san's dishes, Kamimachi-san?
Frankly speaking, it far exceeded my expectations. scoop's interpretation of "scoop" was very impressive, and I felt the potential that ARAS' vessels could be an option not only for the home, but also for restaurants.
I believe that what has been lacking in "food" content up to now is a way of thinking and a point of view. I am glad to be able to share that part of my experience this time.