Gastronomic Discovery – An Evening of Japanese Food Culture

On Monday, I attended an event at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square called Gastronomic Discovery – An Evening of Japanese Food Culture, as a representative of JETAANY.

Below: Elizabeth Andoh, one of THE authorities on Japanese culinary culture. I reviewed her book, Washoku: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen for (Scroll down to read the review after clicking on the link)


Below: Appetizers – Braised Asparagus topped with Spicy Cod Fish Roe Dipping Sauce, BBQ Eel with Pickled Burdock and Shiso Leaf in Puff Pastry, Kumamoto Oysters in Yuzu Jelly with Flying Fish Roe, Tuna and Salmon Tartare on Rice Crackers, Beef Yakitori.

Above and below: Magnificently carved sashimi

Above: Chef David Bouley and assistant

Below: David Bouley’s Yuba-wrapped diver scallop and foie gras.

Above and below: Soba making demonstration.

Below: Kobe beef (Wagyu) Roast Beef – very, very, very well marbled beef. Fatty as all hell, from happy cows that drink beer and get daily massages, and only eat fresh grain. I hope have good enough karma in this life to be reincarnated as a Kobe beef cow. In terms of taste, it’s super rich, melt-in-your mouth. I’m not the biggest beef fan, so I think the subtle delicacy is a bit wasted on my palate.
Above: Guest Geisha. Fabulous. Being a geisha is totally like being a drag queen – hours and hours spent on wardrobe and make-up and getting paid to be the life of the party. Fierce. All the best parties have either drag queens, or geisha. (Or Amanda Lepore) If you have any doubts, just revisit Gong Li’s fiery “I will destroy you” scene in Memoirs of a Geisha.

Stop the Clash of Civilizations


Hi everybody, I’m back from a week of relative blogging silence. This is what I’ve been busy working on. Read the campaign email and scroll down below to watch the Flash video. Help us spread the word about our campaign by blogging about us and sending the video to friends. Peace. Shalom. Salaam

Dear friends,

From New York to Baghdad, Madrid to Beirut, talk is rising of a ‘clash of civilizations’ between the West and Islam — no end in sight to the catastrophe in Iraq, a war brewing between the US and Iran, Lebanon being torn apart again, and still no real Israeli-Palestinian talks. But we know this clash is not about religion or culture. The real cause is politics – the politics of divide-and-conquer, on all sides.

This is not the world we want. But it’s the world we’ll end up with, unless we act now. It’s time for the peaceful majority – us – to make a stand. So watch our new ‘Stop the Clash’ video now for a fresh, empowering take on these conflicts, and a concrete first step we can all take today:

According to the UN among others, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the driving symbol of this “clash” between Islam and the West. But opinion polls show most people around the world agree that the policy is the problem – big majorities everywhere want peace in the Middle East, as do most Israelis and Palestinians. If progress toward peace is made there, it will spread.

So let’s take the first step, and call for REAL Middle East peace talks now. Click below to join the campaign:

Tens of thousands of people have already signed the petition and supported an ad that ran on the front page of the Financial Times worldwide and in major Palestinian and Israeli newspapers.

Now we need to raise the pressure, ratcheting up to a major international day of action on June 5th – the 40th anniversary of the 1967 war that began the occupation. We want to hit every international summit and decision moment from now till then with the same demand. Can you help get us to 50,000 new voices for peace in the next 24 hours?

We agree on what matters most. We all oppose war, tyranny, terror and the killing of innocent civilians. We know these conflicts are caused not by some inevitable culture clash, but by bad politics. The ‘Stop the Clash’ video is a good way to remind friends, family and colleagues of the big picture of all we share – and signing the Real Talks petition is a step every one of us can take. So click above to see Avaaz’s new “Stop the Clash” video, spread the word, and act now…

With hope,

Paul, Galit, Hannah, Ricken, Tom, Jeremy, Graziela, Lee-Sean, Andrea, Nicole, Iain, David and the whole team