KAORU IRIYAMA – who become a chef from a scientist
Kaoru is a passionate Japanese Chef who introduces not only recipes but also unique Japanese cultural experience through her cooking classes. She has been working with Panasonic and the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture and her cooking show with EDEKA on Youtube Channel is getting more popular.
How would you describe Japanese food?
The philosophy of Japanese cuisine is showing love and respect towards nature. We are trying to keep the original taste of its ingredients, which means adding spices is not common, fewer chances to mix ingredients, not to exaggerate tastes in Japanese cuisine. Instead, it’s simple, natural and pure.
The ingredients, it is believed in Japanese cuisine, are a universe, full of countless spirits, whose voice you to listen to them. I believe people deserve not only tasty food but also to know the unique Japanese culture while trying Japanese food.
What is your favorite Japanese food?
I like simple home dining, for me one bowl of cooked rice, fresh miso soup which I made miso myself and some of the side dishes are enough. It doesn’t have to be special or fancy, I want to make it simple and I love it.
一 期 一 会 (Ichi-go ichi-e), this Japanese idiom(yojijukugo) says many things about Japanese culture. This explains the cultural concept of treasuring the unrepeatable nature of a moment. And I believe that applies to people as well as to ingredients and experiences. It applies to my cooking class as well as my dining table at home.
Could you introduce your Cooking Class?
I try to apply this philosophy into my cooking class as well. I don’t present something dynamic but make it simple. For example, when I introduce Sashimi, I cut fish, clean it and present it on the dish with a little bit of salad and sauce. That’s it. My guests eat the whole nature as the salad represents the mountain and sauce represents the sea. So I am trying to reduce unnecessary elements but add the natural value of the Japanese food.
It is very important for me to not only teach cooking skills or recipes of traditional Japanese cuisine, but also to share a lot more about this culinary culture: the respectful handling with the ingredients, the precise knife guidance, and the delicate plate presentation.
What is your vision or plan as a Japanese Chef in Germany?
I was a political scientist before and became a Cook introducing Japanese dining culture to Germans which I followed my passion. When I decided to be a Cook I dreamed that I could share my vision with many people and now that dream came true. Now I am busy with many shows and events and people love it. Like I have been doing so far, I will continuously introduce Japanese Culinary culture to the interested people.
During the interview, I was impressed by her passion and love for Japanese cuisine. I am super excited to know her first cookbook “Kochen Wie In JAPAN” published by GU which will be released upcoming May. I would be the first one to try her Japanese cooking philosophy at home. If you want to find her, https://www.kaoru-iriyama.com/