During March 2013, I attended the International Food & Drink Event (IFE 2013) at ExCel, London. As expected the event turned out to be one of the highlights of the year, showcasing new and innovative products from around the world.
IFE 2013 had over 50 countries represented on the trade stands, and over the four-day event received almost 30000 visitors from nearly 100 countries. In particular, the Japan pavilions and sake bar, sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF) were noteworthy – one of the best ever presentations from Japan.
The Japan pavilion cooking demonstrations were given by Yasuhiro Mineno & Shinya Ikeda with ‘New Sensations with Traditional Favourites’: konnyaku sushi; Valentine Walker with ‘A Simple Approach: Inspiration from the British Summer Day’: a mackerel tartare and umeboshi dish; and Yoshinori Ishii with ‘Fish and Vegetable Head to Tail!’: sashimi and miso soup with daikon.
The audience learnt the meaning of mottainai ( もったいない ) in the context of food preparation, which literally means’ waste not’. Mr Yoshinori Ishii demonstrated expert knife skills by preparing sashimi using freshly caught plaice, using every part of the fish – ‘mottainai concept’.
At the sake bar, an excellent range of premium sake was showcased. One noteworthy sake was ‘Dewazakura Ichiro’, a junmai daiginjo sake from Dewazakura Sake Brewery, Yamagata – an International Wine Challenge champion sake. Tasting of ripe melon and lingering elegantly on the palate, ‘Dewazakura Ichiro’ is highly recommended.
Another interesting sake, being especially ‘summer day’ refreshing, was ‘Dewazakura Tobiroku’, a sparkling ginjo, also from the Dewazakura Sake Brewery. There were also many other excellent sake tastings on offer from Japanese sake breweries.
Support for Japanese exhibitors was also provided by Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).
© 2013 Dr Robert Frew. All rights reserved.