Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1128/

Fusion Cuisine (Japanese)

(Japanese) What Peruvian cuisine and Japanese cuisine have in common is that they’ve both got many types of food that have evolved from 100 years or so of Chinese and Japanese people interacting with each other. In terms of Western cuisine, you don’t have stir-fried food. It’s been here forever. Finally now the wok and stir-fry are popular around the world, but here we’ve had a stir-fried dish called Lomo Saltado from long ago. Bottom line, this is Asian culture, right? And one more thing…the Peruvian people value the true taste of ingredients. Japanese people do too. In other words, we don’t eat meals where you just taste the sauce; we eat food where you can taste the ingredients. That’s exactly the same as Japanese cuisine.

So, when you get new ingredients, first you taste them and wonder, “Hmmm…This would probably go well with this kind of food…” That’s a real hands-on, local-focused approach. Cooking with cook books…that doesn’t give birth to fusion cuisine. You have to taste it yourself…try it out…that’s how fusion is conceived. So when people ask “How is fusion is created?”, trying it for yourself is the only way. That’s it. End of story. You just have to have good ingredients on hand.


cooking cuisine food fusion cuisine Peru

Date: April 18, 2007

Location: Lima, Peru

Interviewer: Ann Kaneko

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Interviewee Bio

Toshiro Konishi was born on July 11, 1953, the fourth son of a long-established Japanese restaurant owner in Saito City, Miyazaki Prefecture. Having played in the kitchen from around the age of six, at 11-years-old, Konishi began helping out in the kitchen with other chef candidates. Then in 1971, at age 16, he headed to Tokyo and became a chef at the restaurant “Fumi”.

In 1974, he moved to Peru with Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, known in America, Japan, and elsewhere for his Japanese fusion cuisine at his restaurant, “Nobu”. After working at the Japanese restaurant “Matsuei” for ten years, he opened “Toshiro’s” and “Wako” in a Sheraton hotel in Lima. In 2002, he also became manager of “Sushi Bar Toshiro’s” in the San Isidro region.

Aside from running the restaurants, he taught at San Ignacio de Loyola University, participated in culinary festivals around the world, introduced innovative cuisine known as “Peruvian Fusion” (a mix of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines), and received numerous awards. In 2008 he became the first Japanese chef based in Latin America to receive the Japanese government’s Minister's Prize from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. (October 2009)

Michelle Yamashiro
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Michelle Yamashiro

Working together in Okinawa using three languages

Okinawan American whose parents are from Peru.

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Jimmy Naganuma
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Jimmy Naganuma

Forcibly deported to the U.S. from Peru

(b. 1936) Japanese Peruvian incarcerated in Crystal City

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Jimmy Naganuma
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Jimmy Naganuma

Memories of childhood in Peru

(b. 1936) Japanese Peruvian incarcerated in Crystal City

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Jimmy Naganuma
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Jimmy Naganuma

First meal at Crystal City

(b. 1936) Japanese Peruvian incarcerated in Crystal City

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