Through Ongoing Partnership with Suntory, Immersive Course Now Includes Culinary Tour
NEW YORK, NY (11 October 2017) – The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), in collaboration with Suntory Group, one of the world’s leading consumer product companies, launched the second year of its Advanced Cooking: Japanese Cuisine course at the college’s New York campus. As Japan’s rich culinary traditions, techniques, and dishes increasingly become focal points of exploration for young chefs pursuing advanced culinary arts, the course serves as the first phase of a broader Japanese studies initiative at the CIA.
This year, students enrolled in the course had the opportunity to travel to Japan to experience Japanese cuisine first-hand, just before the start of the semester. The 10-day culinary tour was an enlightening experience for the students and set the tone for what they are learning back on campus. The tour was made possible by Suntory and other corporate members of the CIA’s Japanese Studies Leadership Council.
Students and CIA faculty traveled to Tokyo, Fukuoka, Kyoto, and Osaka, experiencing cuisines and culinary demonstrations ranging from soba and sushi to kamameshi, okonomiyaki, kaiseki, and much more. The itinerary included visits to rice fields grown for vinegar production, wagyu beef and bamboo shoot farms, the Tsuji Culinary Institute, and the Suntory Yamazaki Distillery. The tour was planned by the CIA with the help of the college’s ambassador in Japan, Mr. Hiroo Chikaraishi, a well-known hospitality expert based in Tokyo.
The Japanese Cuisine course is an innovative immersion into the cuisines, flavors, techniques, and food culture of Japan. It is jointly taught by CIA instructor Chef Martin Matysik and Chef Hiroki Murashima of the world-renowned Tsuji Culinary Institute in Osaka. As part of the CIA’s relationship with Suntory, Chef Murashima also holds the position of Suntory Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies.
The elective, open to juniors and seniors pursuing a CIA bachelor’s degree, started on September 19, and is filled to capacity. The course will include a day-long field trip to New York City to experience leading Japanese restaurants and retail operations.
“The growing popularity of Japanese cuisine is clear and evident. Sushi and ramen are easy to find at supermarkets and neighborhood restaurants across the country. Top American chefs are increasingly looking to Japan for deep insights on flavor, technique and design,” said CIA President Dr. Tim Ryan. “We are delighted to collaborate with Suntory in making this world heritage of food culture more accessible to the talented chefs of tomorrow through this new initiative.”
The curriculum guides students through Japanese history, culture, and principles of authentic Japanese cooking as they explore rice and noodles, sushi, tempura, the principles of umami, and the cultural aspects of the Japanese dining table. Students will also learn the art of preparing kaiseki, a traditional multi-course meal that is highly seasonal, balanced, and evocative of Japanese sensibilities of beauty and hospitality.
“As a company deeply rooted in Japanese culture for more than a century, we are thrilled to give CIA students the opportunity to better understand the practices and techniques of Japanese cuisine and culture,” said Suntory president and CEO Takeshi Niinami. “It is our privilege to support the chefs of tomorrow, and we look forward to another successful year of this partnership as we continue to cultivate the art of Japanese cuisine in the U.S.”
Suntory Group is among the world’s leading consumer products companies, with $24.3 billion in annual sales. We offer a uniquely diverse portfolio of beverage products enjoyed by millions around the world: from award-winning Japanese whiskies Yamazaki and Hibiki, The Premium Malt’s beer, and iconic American spirits Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark to non-alcoholic favorites Orangina, Lucozade, and Ribena. Suntory also produces wellness products and operates a flower business.
Founded as a family-owned business in 1899 in Osaka, Japan, Suntory Group has grown into a multi-national corporation, with operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania. We are driven by Yatte Minahare – the spirit of bold ambition – and our 38,000 employees worldwide draw upon our unique blend of Japanese artisanship and global tastes to explore new product categories and markets.
About the CIA:
Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers bachelor’s degrees in management, culinary arts, culinary science, and applied food studies, and associate degrees in either culinary arts or baking and pastry arts. The college also offers executive education through its Food Business School along with certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences, leadership initiatives, and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of nearly 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore. For more information, visit www.ciachef.edu.