What is your favourite thing on the Ichigo Ichie menu and why?
I love working with local ingredients and building my menu around the seasons. Every menu tells a story. I love working with different textures, flavours and even temperatures. It is difficult to just choose one favourite thing from the menu, I choose oysters. From different parts of Ireland, each oyster tastes different as they come from different waters. Also, the oyster can be served raw or warm in a broth dish. Sometimes I put the oyster on the menu Kakifurai style which s my favourite. This is when the oyster is breaded and deep-fried.
What would be your desert island meal? (Starter/Main/Dessert)
I have always said that my last supper would be Mentai Ochazuke. Ochazuke is a rustic Japanese dish of rice in hot tea. It may be topped with a variety of different ingredients such as seafood, vegetables and Mentai is a spiced marinated cod roe which comes from my hometown Fukuoka. But as for my starter and dessert, I would have to think about this more. I suppose for a starter I would have to choose sea urchin, Uni in Japanese. And as for dessert, I would forego as I don't have sweet tooth.
What is your favourite seasonal dish?
In winter I love a root vegetable stew. it is very comforting in the cold and harsh weather. It consists of mooli, taro potato, homemade broth and soy sauce.
What drink would you pair with it?
I would drink Daiginjo sake which would be served cold. They compliment each others flavour profiles.
What is your favourite restaurant in Ireland and why?
It is difficult to choose any one restaurant in Ireland as they all use such local and great Irish produce.
What is your favourite dish in Ireland and why?
I like to use Ballycumber lamb when cooking for my family as it has great flavour and is always good quality.
Who is your most hotly tipped young chef in Ireland today?
I would have to be biased and say the Michael McGrath the head chef of Miyazaki is one to watch. He makes the best Japanese broth and his techniques are amazing. Maybe I taught him too well!