David Kinch, the chef-owner of Manresa in Los Gatos in California, prepared dinner in a kitchen at Narisawa in Tokyo. Meanwhile, Narisawa owner Yoshihiro Narisawa was cooking at Attica in Melbourne.
Kinch and Narisawa were among a collective of 37 top chefs who participated in the Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle, travelling to different countries to cook in someone else’s kitchen, preparing an eight-course menu using local ingredients for one evening.
Guests at the 37 restaurants did not know who their chef would be until they were seated.
Rene Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen, Sean Gray of Momofuku Ko in New York and Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, also took part.
Most of Kinch’s dishes at Narisawa, ranked No. 8 in the San Pellegrino 2015 list of the world’s 50 best restaurants, consisted of seafood such as kuruma ebi, red snapper, tilefish and abalone.
He spoke to Reuters a few hours before the doors opened for guests who paid about 46,000 yen ($376) each, including drinks.
Q: What was the hardest thing about deciding what to cook tonight?
A: It was not difficult to decide what to make, it was more difficult to edit. There were so many ideas, so many products and so much potential. We could go in many different directions. In fact we are doing nine courses instead of eight … because it was difficult to find eight products we wanted to work with.
Q: Your “ninth dish” is crispy rice granola. Why that one?
A: It’s a signature dish of my restaurant. This is one of the first things people have there. I wanted something that has a real direct connection with Manresa so I wanted to bring things that are exactly the same.
Q: Do your dishes reflect anything that (Yoshihiro) Narisawa does here?
A: The dishes are very much a reflection of me and Manresa. But they have been translated through the products that team Narisawa got for me. And with the team helping me prepare, there were some ideas that we talked about that were collaboration. But mostly the genesis of dishes, sauces, whatever on the plate was my idea.
Q: Course eight is a dish containing egg called “Tamago onikasago”, or egg and scorpion fish. Why are you serving the egg dish before the dessert?
A: That was my idea. I wanted to do it because when you go to a sushi bar, they have tamago (egg) as the last thing. It is sort of the period at the end of the sentence.
But it isn’t a tamago. It’s an old French recipe but I make it like a tamago. It’s like a cannelle de brioche and it’s a fish mousse that you make with sauce with cream and butter. There is egg in it, but it is not a tamago.