In researching and writing KIBŌ, my goal was to enable a global readership to make Tohoku fare in their own kitchens, regardless of each reader's level of culinary skill or previous experience preparing Japanese food. To help me, I recruited dozens of volunteers (for a complete list, see page 125 of KIBŌ).  My "culinary advisory council" was an enthusiastic group: geographically diverse (mostly living outside Japan, both northern and southern hemisphere), demographically diverse (all ages, both genders, many nationalities), and occupationally diverse (business, student & academia, law, medicine, culinary industry, farming & fishing etc.). I asked them to test recipes and provide me with feedback. I wanted to know: could they make unfamiliar dishes following my written directions? Did they find the food appealing? Could they find unusual ingredients? If not, what substitutes did they suggest?

This Cohorts & Collaborators page gives me an opportunity to highlight the valuable contributions made by my volunteers. In this second installment, I share with you the work of two more dedicated Advisory Council members: HANNAH (below, left) and ERIC (below, right):

New York, USA

Hannah Goldberg

I was drawn to KIBO because I wanted to do something useful in the wake of the March 11 disaster. The book allowed me to use my particular skill-set (as a chef and a writer) to help in a way that felt really intuitive. What better way for people around the world to relate to the people of Tohoku than through their food? So much of cooking is about compassion, and I feel it every time I recreate a recipe from KIBO.

Sasa kamaboko is an example of a Tohoku classic I "discovered" while working on the KIBO project and will continue to make often.

Fish paste, shaped like sasa (young bamboo leaves)... as I made them I kept reminding myself: think leaves, not arrowheads

You need to watch the sausage-patties carefully under the broiler: they scorch easily!

The grilled sasa kamaboko have a chewy-juicy texture... here are several, ready to serve with a dab of wasabi and a drizzle of soy sauce.

Montreal, CANADA

Eric Erickson

Photo by L. Frederiksen 
I am a tremendous fan of Kansha (I have eaten a plant-based diet all my life), so I was excited to have an opportunity to test new recipes from Elizabeth.  I am
always looking for ways to expand my culinary horizons, and I was eager for a look at the process of creating this precise and helpfulinstruction."

While participating in the Advisory Council I learned about tasty new ingredients and interesting new techniques. The recipes I made have become a unique part of my culinary repertoire, and the techniques I
learned have been happily applied to the creation and evolution of my own dishes. Case in point: my rendition of zunda mochi. I added a touch of sweet, aged balsamic vinegar to the sauce.

I really enjoyed the fresh  édamamé flavor (I crushed my beans in a suribachi, not a food processor) and the chewy dumpling texture. I found that adding a touch of acidity suited my palate. And I played with the presentation... stacking my édamamé on top of the dumplings.

Previous pages have been archived. Click here to view the FIRST INSTALLMENT to this Cohorts & Collaborators page.