Essential Cooking: Chef James Rigato recaps his recent trip to Japan

Mabel Gray owner/executive chef James Rigato tells Ann Delisi why he is so inspired by Japanese culture.

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Tokyo is known for its incredible food scene — from hibachi to sushi, to the savory Japanese pancake okonomiyaki.

Chef James Rigato recently traveled to Japan to experience the country’s food culture first-hand.

What he found was a dynamic food culture that is both timeless and futuristic — thousands year-old traditions like tea ceremonies are juxtaposed with robots that prepare meals. 

The result: an intoxicating and welcoming journey for the culinary traveler.

In this episode: 

  • Chef James Rigato’s takeaways from his trip to Tokyo
  • What to expect from food culture in Japan
  • Why Chef Rigato would try his hand at ramen but not sushi
  • The value of chefs focusing on specialties

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  • David Leins
    David Leins is a Podcast Coordinator and Producer at WDET. He also oversees the StoryMakers program. When he isn't making radio and podcasts, David is probably on a hike somewhere marveling at the trees.