I was born and raised in Yamanaka, about 7 km from Beniya Mukayu. My father was a woodturning craftman and he enjoyed foraging wild herbs in the forest near our house. I used to go with him and spend the day learning about plants, fishing and having fun in the nature. Once back home, we would cook and serve the food on the wooden tableware made by my father. I loved it and I thought it would be nice to become a chef, cooking and plating to make others happy.
Food plays a big role in the ryokan experience. Here at Beniya Mukayu we propose refined genuine Japanese cuisine, and our Kaga-style kaiseki dinner meal is based on the finest ingredients that we choose with great care from a wide range of food products from Kaga, our region. In Beniya Mukayu’s kitchen we only use the freshest high quality ingredients and enhance their natural flavors by avoiding heavy seasoning, redundant processes or a lot of dish décor. Instead, we put a great effort in highlighting freshness, seasonality and delicacy of flavours.
That is very hard to say! Kaga city features various ecosystems and biodiversity, which lead also to a variety of fresh ingredients from the mountain, lakes and the Sea of Japan. Furthermore, each season brings its own delicacies… I always look for the best ingredients available in that particular period. Crabs, kani, are something not to be missed from November to March, for example.
I am very particular about dashi, the basic stock that is used in almost all our dishes, which is crucial for the umami flavour. I believe my signature can be found in the different kinds of dashi I prepare using only the finest konbu kelp from Kakkumi Hana.
Much of the ryokan experience depends on the preparation before the guest arrival, which has to be done with the utmost care and dedication. They are what I share with my colleagues daily and I would like to pass on.
Well, we don’t have the concept of Sunday cooking in Japan, however I do cook for my family, and I always try to treat them with something special. My tip is let your sensitivity guides you: think of what the members of your family like, what are the ingredients you have at hand, the occasion… and enjoy yourself!