Soil Soup | Photo by Sergio Coimbra | Studio SC
JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles celebrates epicurean ecology with the SATOYAMA exhibition. The show is the culmination of a three-year collaboration between two prominent names in the world culinary scene: Brazilian photographer Sergio Coimbra and Japanese Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa.
The exhibition is designed and curated by Felipe Ribenboim from Base7 Projetos Culturais. It includes about 60 photographs by Sergio Coimbra, along with Chef Narisawa’s journal writings during their ten trips around Japan over a course of three years, in search of indigenous ingredients provided by local producers.
The show focuses on their experiences exploring the scenery and nature of the country, while unearthing old and new secrets of Japanese cuisine. The photographs include images of Narisawa’s dishes, each inspired by a key ingredient.
The term Satoyama is based on the traditional Japanese concept of living in harmony with nature. (Sato means a “place where people live,” and yama means “mountain.”) Their work will be turned into a book entitled Satoyama, which will be published in English and available in 2018.
Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa is known internationally for his dedication to sustainability and “bringing nature to the plate,” with ingredients from forests and fields. Examples include the mysterious koji, the national fungus; binchotan charcoal; tree bark; and foraged leaves. Narisawa’s Soil Soup has become one of his signature dishes, which he says, “expresses the importance of the environment through what we eat.” His Tokyo restaurant, Narisawa, serves dishes ranging from sea snake broth to Wagyu beef, and is regularly included on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
ABOUT YOSHIHIRO NARISAWA
Yoshihiro Narisawa is the world-renowned chef and owner of Narisawa restaurant in Tokyo. He is considered a pioneer in the world of Japanese cooking, applying new techniques, textures and flavors to the country’s traditional cuisine after many years working with top chefs across Europe. At age 19, he embarked on his culinary studies in France, Switzerland and Italy, before returning to Japan in 1996. In 2003, he moved to Tokyo and opened the restaurant Les Créations de Narisawa, which garnered two Michelin stars in 2010. The restaurant was renamed Narisawa in 2011. His dishes such as Soil Soup, Water Salad and Essence of the Forest exemplify his strong interest in epicurean ecology, and his theme of “beneficial and sustainable gastronomy.” His dedication to sourcing produce from organic farmers, and his philosophy centered on innovative Satoyama cuisine, have been recognised in the industry with multiple awards. At the Madrid Fusion 2010, he was voted “Most Influential Chef” of the year, while in 2013 his Narisawa restaurant won first place in the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants award. In 2015, it ranked No. 8 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, making it the Best Ranked Restaurant in Asia.
ABOUT SERGIO COIMBRA
Sergio Coimbra is one of the world's leading food photographers. He was awarded the “Grand Prix de la Photographie du Tourisme Gastronomique” at the Festival International de la Photographie in Paris in 2011, and the 2010 Grand Prix du Public. His studio is dedicated exclusively to food photography, chefs and kitchen professionals. He has photographed for world famous chefs such as Alex Atala, Massimo Bottura, Heston Blumenthal, Tsuyoshi Murakami, Yoshihiro Narisawa and Nuno Mendes, transforming their dishes into works of art.
He has also published many books with renowned chefs. Among them: Pierre Hermé: Chocolate (Flammarion); Fluidità and 178 ore in Brasile by Massimiliano and Raffaele Alajmo; D.O.M.: Rediscovering Brazilian Ingredients by Alex Atala (Phaidon Press); Brazilian Cuisine of the Vanguard by Felipe Bronze (Sextante); Satoyama by Yoshihiro Narisawa.
His work has been exhibited at Alimentário, Milan Expo 2015; Alimentário, São Paulo, Brazil OCA (2015); Alimentário, Rio de Janeiro MAM (2014); Collections Chefs, Guildhall, London, 50 Best (2014); Fluiditá, Library, Venice Biennale (2013); Encuentros, Basque Culinary Center, San Sebastian (2012); Marmitas, Dupont Gallery, Paris (2011).
SATOYAMA EXHIBITION AT UNION STATION
Organized and Presented by: Japan House Los Angeles
Design and Realization by: Felipe Ribenboim | Ritual Cultura e Entertainmento/Base7