One of the most memorable and exciting aspects of traveling or living among a different culture is exploring the cuisine. While going to an authentic restaurant may be enough to get your foodie fix, sometimes the most excitement and delight comes from the challenge of preparing the dish on your own. Japanese food is hailed internationally for its flavorful, fresh, and varied styles, and skilled and novice chefs alike can struggle with replicating the unique dishes. Sometimes having all of the right ingredients and an authentic recipe isn’t enough to get a Japanese dish to taste just like the real thing. That’s why Taro, owner and head chef instructor at Haru Cooking Class in Kyoto, started his class for visitors to Japan and interested participants to combine their love and curiosity for Japanese cuisine with the right ingredients and proper demonstration and instruction.
Taro teaches a maximum of six guests per class, so the participants can receive one-on-one instruction and feedback. Allow for around three to four hours if you make a reservation because Taro takes time to thoroughly explain not only each ingredient and step, but also the specific cultural significance behind all components of the Japanese dish in preparation. To save on some time, Taro prepares some of the dishes beforehand, but don’t worry because this process will be explained and you will have ample opportunity to put your Japanese chef hats on and practice!
There are two different options for cooking classes: vegetarian or non-vegetarian with Kobe beef. Both options involve demonstration and participation in cooking several courses of authentic Japanese food including soups, side dishes, and the main dish, which you of course get to enjoy when you’re through! Another option for the cooking class is to add on a trip to the Nishiki market with Taro to see where he buys his ingredients and truly get a feel for the whole cooking process! If you decide you want to join in on the market tour, though, you’d better make your reservations early in the week because Taro only takes one group out per week and it’s first come, first serve. Taro teaches just one cooking class per day starting at 2:00 p.m. so plan ahead to get a taste for this exciting cultural experience.
Northeast of the Imperial Palace, 166-32 Shimogamo Miyazakicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture 606-0802
Cooking Classes: one per day, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Nishiki Market Tour: one per week, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Non-vegetarian: 7,900 yen per person, 10,900 yen per person for double portion of Kobe beef
Vegetarian: 5,900 yen per person
Nishiki Market Tour: 4,000 yen per person plus cost of cooking class to follow
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