Lovers of fine dining descended on Niseko for an exclusive culinary extravaganza over the weekend, with pop up restaurant concept “Dining Out” serving up world-class cuisine in a secret location in Niseko.
The event was held over the 22 and 23 July, with a strictly limited 80 guests paying ¥150,000 to ¥250,000 each for a package tour that includes accommodation across different locations in Niseko, meals and activities.
Dining Out is a regular event organised by Japanese new media company One Story Media.
It brings celebrity chefs and culinary masters together with fresh, local ingredients to showcase specially chosen rural locations in Japan. The chosen chef is wined and dined by the best in the region before sourcing their own local ingredients and planning the direction and execution of their exclusive menu.
Niseko’s chosen chef Chef Yoji Tokuyoshi earned his stripes working as a sous chef at Osteria Francescana, a world-famous restaurant with three Michelin stars that earned the title of “Best Restaurant in the World” in 2016, with a perfect 20/20 ranking in the Michelin Guide.
Tokuyoshi left in 2015 and opened his own restaurant, “Ristorante Tokuyoshi” in Milano, serving his take on fine Italian cuisine. Within 10 months of opening he earned his own Michelin Star, the first Japanese chef working in Italy to do so.
“I let the ingredients give me a hint as to where to take them.”
Mr Tokuyoshi expressed respect for the local culinary scene, and though describes his culinary philosophy as the idea or goal of the recipe leading the ingredients, says he found Niseko inspiring him to “let the ingredients give me a hint for where to take them.”
Mr Tokuyoshi’s kitchen was staffed by local Niseko cuisine stars, including An Dining’s chef Shinichi Maeda as sous chef.
This Dining Out event is the ninth in the series, which began in 2013 and has covered such far-flung locations as Iya, a secluded mountain village in rural Tokushima prefecture, and Yaeyama Island in the south of Okinawa.
PHOTOS: MITSUAKI OTA
Chefs hard at work at Dining Out experience.