You know, there are said just two sophisticated cuisines in the world — one is the “Kaiseki” in Japan and the other is the French Haute cuisine. Now the Japanese cuisine is served as the highest and best grade dishes for banquet in the White House in the United States.

Among them, the “Kaiseki” is well known for its meticulous preparation and beautiful presentation, as the most expensive type of Japanese food. But… why has it become expensive? Wasn’t the original Kaiseki a coarse meal?

Kaiseki is said origined in Kamakura era, 13 century. Japanese people ate two meals in a day, in the morning and evening. Some felt very hungry between the meals. Especially Buddhist monks who had strict Zen training in temples held a warmed stone to relieve hunger. The stone was called “Yakuseki”,  the root of “Kaiseki” word.

In Muromachi era around 14 century, “Honzen ryori” or samurai cuisine was established, that is thought the real root of Japanese cuisine.

In the 16 century, “Sen No Rikyu” began the tea ceremony, to indicate the frugal meal as Cha Kaiseki served in the austere style. The concept of his tea ceremony was from the idea of “Wabi”, taste for the simple and quiet. So the food was never superb but simple.

Today’s Kaiseki is applied from some traditional Japanese cuisines, especially the above three foods and imperial court cuisine. All of these individual cuisines have been formalized and sophisticated over time, and have also been incorporated into Kaiseki cuisine.

This video in English was made to introduce the detailed and condensed story of Japanese Kaiseki — the history, selection of ingredient, some cooking process, relation of French chefs and variety of beautiful dish types. We really hope it will be helpful for you.

If you have any question, please feel free to contact us anytime.

Thank you for reading and best regards!

All the Hocho-Knife staff
“Hocho” represents Made-in-Japan (Sushi / Sashimi) Kitchen Knives,
that is the soul of the cook!