Japanese culinary aces teach their craft to the public in the Bouley Test Kitchen.
Insider Exclusive Offer:
David Bouley’s Tribeca kaiseki restaurant, Brushstroke, has been refining New Yorkers’ definitions of Japanese cuisine since it opened in 2011. Now Bouley is taking things a step further by offering a 12-course series of classes, titled Mastering the Art of Japanese Cuisine.
Through a direct relationship with the renowned Tsuji Culinary Institute, in Osaka, the series features a rotating cast of guest chefs/professors, along with a stable of accomplished graduate students who’ve come to New York to get cooking experience outside of Japan. (Chef Isao Yamada, a longtime Bouley collaborator, heads Brushstroke’s kitchen.)
The current visiting luminaries—professors Hiroki Murashima and Mitsuhiro Narita and chef Eiji Ichimura—step out from behind the counter and in front of small classes in Bouley’s stately Test Kitchen facility to reveal the secrets of Japanese cuisine. (Bouley, Yamada, and Brushstroke sommelier Seju Yang are also slated to make appearances.)
Courses range from “Rice, Rice Baby” and “How I Learned to Cook Fish” to “How to Pair Sake with Western Cuisine” and “Egg, Tofu, Yuba and Some More!” The classes are decidedly hands-off, so attendees should worry more about coming with big appetites (I had six courses of fish the night I attended) than embarrassing themselves with lackluster cooking skills.
Yet learn you will. At a recent session, under the watchful gaze of a video camera hooked up to a large flat-screen TV for a live feed of the action, Professor Murashima elucidated the ways to properly prepare fish (salting or quickly blanching) before highlighting three different ways to cook it (grilling, stewing, steaming). A mix of older and younger singles and couples looked on eagerly as they sipped chilled plum wine and sake amid the countless copper cooking utensils and framed certificates of Bouley’s achievements in the elegant space.
It’s worth noting that the majority of the courses use a translator, because the distinguished professors are, well, the real thing. Monday and Tuesday classes begin at 6:30 p.m., and Sunday afternoon classes start at noon. The next course takes place on May 7.
Bouley Test Kitchen: 88 West Broadway, 212.964.2525
$175 per person for one class, $475 for three classes, or $925 for six classes. Group rates are available.