Photo: Sydney Seekford

Traditions and trends at the Tokyo Food Summit 2023

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The inaugural Tokyo Food Summit, held over November 20-22, at Tokyo Big Sight, celebrated domestically sourced ingredients from each of Japan’s 47 prefectures. The event hosted stars from YouTube and TV and featured special interest areas around two main themes: sustainable consumption and Japanese tradition. We checked out a few panels and took our time tasting around the event to bring you some takeaways.

Savories: Ostrich, Wild Boar and Venison

Noeud. Tokyo’s ostrich meat pot au feu Photo: Sydney Seekford

Thanks partly to an effort to highlight alternative meat, savories got the spotlight! Michelin-starred Noeud. Tokyo came prepared for the chilly weather with an ostrich meat pot au feu and an effervescent shrub. According to Noeud., ostrich meat is an ideal, sustainable substitute for beef. The animals can be raised on very little feed due to their acclimation to arid savannah environments and require significantly less space to be safely farmed.

Ostrich offers a cost- and space-effective alternative to cows, but what about the taste? We found it pretty hard to swallow at first! However, the ostrich meatball was beefy without being fatty and the stewed cubes pulled apart just like a pot roast. With its rich red meat color, get a good bite and you might not notice a difference.

Elezo’s boar dish Photo: Sydney Seekford

While Noeud. introduced agricultural innovation with its dish, Shutei Hokura and Elezo headed into the woods to cook up wild boar and venison dishes rooted in Japan’s ancient hunting tradition. A modern turn towards sustainability encourages revisiting these practices to curb the growing issue of wildlife encroaching on human settlements. Not only does hunting keep down populations, but it also provides healthy, free-range meat for hungry customers.

Studies: Minimizing Waste and Hokusai Cuisine Art

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© Savvy Tokyo

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Ostrich meat is one I want to try. Venison I've eaten a lot and it's good. It has a unique flavor. Wild boar is another I want to try. It seems like it would be naturally good. These don't take miles of feed the way beef does (I like beef, mind) so they are really worth a try.

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