food communication lab: tokyo in london

last week david and i hosted six japanese guests, one of whom we met when we were in tokyo in april.

gen was in london with a group of friends and when we had dinner in tokyo we’d offered to get involved in a food-related project of his – a food communication lab. this is the briefing he gave me when i asked for a little more info:

“in a food lab, we simply cook, eat and wash together.

it aims to stimulate communication and innovative thinking through eating together.

no obvious facilitation, no programming, no speech is needed.

we simply do it.

therefore we only need a minimum space - home kitchen with minimum tools.

we don't even require japanese ingredients.

we may cook super-market ingredients in a kind of japanese way.

oh, we love to have some drinks.”

so, that’s what we did. eight of us cooked, ate and washed up together. at the start of the evening we were two groups – english and japanese. by the end i like to think we were one group of friends, sharing food and learning together.

above: preparing the smoked salmon and cauliflower for a sushi artwork

above: layered and rolled omelette, this was amazing to watch, not least as the pan used has only ever stuck and given me stressful cooking times - it obviously knew there was an expert in the house.

above: gyoza in the background

above: final stages of prep

above: putting everything out and getting ready to eat

above: oishii! (delicious!)