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Wednesday 13 November 2019
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Japanese Cuisine 101 for TTHTI students

Japanese ambassador Tatsuo Hirayama, right, and his wife, Sachiko Hirayama, left, with resident chef Jinich Osawa, second from right, TTHTI students, student coordinator, Renatta Francis, second from right, and TTHTI chef Virges Lovelace, at back.
Japanese ambassador Tatsuo Hirayama, right, and his wife, Sachiko Hirayama, left, with resident chef Jinich Osawa, second from right, TTHTI students, student coordinator, Renatta Francis, second from right, and TTHTI chef Virges Lovelace, at back.

MIA HENDERSON

STUDENTS of the TT Hospitality and Tourism Institute (TTHTI) will display their skills in Japanese cuisine before a panel of judges, Japanese ambassador Tatsuo Hirayama and his wife Sachiko Hirayama. The presentation will take place on June 30 at the TTHTI campus , Chaguaramas.

The students were given a crash course in preparing authentic Japanese cuisine by the ambassador's resident chef Jinich Osawa when they accepted an invitation extended by the ambassador to his home in St. Claire on June 17. As part of their two-year course at TTHTI, the students were assigned a country on whose cuisine, drinks, and culture they had to make a presentation. The institute contacted the ambassador to answer a few questions on Japan's native cuisine, and Hirayama went a step further by inviting the students to his home for a demonstration by chef Osawa. Tempura and a variety of sushi rolls, made from locally-sourced fish and vegetables, were among some of the traditional Japanese dishes prepared. The students expressed their gratitude for the gesture by the ambassador as it gave them first-hand insight into the complexities of Japanese cuisine.

Students of the Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute are all smiles at the home of Japanese ambassador, Tatsuo Hirayama.

The freshness and cleanliness of Japanese food was something that always interested TTHTI chef Virges Lovelace, who said the presentation of the food at the event was insightful for both him and his students. One student shared her belief that “food is art” and said the plating of the dishes was a testament to that. Lovelace said this event has not only taught the students how to cook Japanese food but also prepared them for the wider world by allowing them to be “culturally open” to various cuisines, customs and traditions.

Both TTHTI student co-ordinator Renatta Francis, and Hirayama expressed their hope of a continued partnership between the institute and the Japanese embassy. Francis said the TTHI also wanted to create a closer relationship with other embassies in the country for projects in the future.

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