Soba master Shuichi Kotani dusts the excess flour off of a freshly cut batch of soba noodles before placing them in a bamboo box.
Morimoto's Fish Box
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto's Big Box O' Fish. Tuna, salmon, sea bream, octopus, fresh scallops, abalone, yellowtail, omelet, and fresh wasabi, just to name a few. You know that briefcase in Pulp Fiction? This is what was inside.
Morimoto's Braised Pork Kakuni
Pork belly braised in Brooklyn Brewery lager with thick slices of braised daikon.
Oceana's Spanish Mackerel with Shiso and Sesame
The mackeral was pickled escabeche-style with a salad of tosaka seaweed on top.
Morimoto's Chicken Wings
A Japanese-inflected reinterpretation of buffalo wings. Boneless lollypops with a sweet-and-spicy sauce.
Gramercy Tavern's Matsutake Gelée
Shaved matsutake mushrooms in a mushroom-scented gelée served with black garlic, miso, and shiso.
The chefs at sushi zen had no problem giving away their excellent nigiri—the line was constant throughout the event.
Blue Ribbon's Fried chicken Wings
Ridiculously crispy and crunchy (who would have thought that's possible at an event kiosk?), with a great spice dust and a sweet drizzle of honey and wasabi. I lined up for more than one of these bad boys.
Masaharu Morimoto Talks To The Crowd
Morimoto emcee'd the demo portions of the event, explaining the ingredients and techniques his head sushi chef Robby Cook was using. "He's the best non-Japanese sushi chef in America," says Morimoto.
Now THAT'S a sashimi platter.
Shuichi Kotani kneads a ball of dough until it is smooth, supple, and easy to roll.
As he stretches the dough out, it becomes so wide that he needs to keep the ends rolled up like a scroll around wooden dowels so they don't drape down to the floor.
A special knife called a menkiri bocho is used to cut the folded sheet into individual noodles. Kotani explains the importance of slicing instead of crushing, using the weight of the knife to do the work as he slowly pulls it backwards with each stroke, much like a sashimi chef slices sushi.
The noodles, ready to rest for half an hour to relax before cooking.
Tori Shin's Steamed Rice With Chicken
A simple but delicious dish of rice steamed in sea stock with chunks of chicken and pickle.
Soba Totto's Green Tea Soba with Matsutake
This is my favorite kind of Japanese food—extremely light and subtle, aromatic and balanced. It doesn't hit you over the head, but it's the kind of food that makes you pause and think "am I enjoying this?" for a second before you quickly realize, "HELL YES I AM."
Box-pressed sushi made with fluke with matsutake, and cured salmon with roe.
The drummer from Soh Daiko invite a few cooks and guests up at the end of the night to bang along.