Washoku (Japanese cuisine) continues to enjoy popularity in the U.S. Japanese cuisine has become firmly established in New York, a city at the forefront of food trends. It has currently become polarized into high-end and casual Washoku. In this city, soba noodles master Shuichi Kotani and chef David Israelow are striving to explore the potential of Japanese cuisine. The two met as a judge and a contestant during the qualifying tournament of the “Washoku World Challenge” in New York held in 2017 to decide on the world’s best non-Japanese Washoku chef. Israelow won this qualifying tournament, and went on to win the final tournament held in Tokyo. After that, he formed a team with his colleagues in an effort to create his unique world of Washokuand continues to disseminate information about Japanese cuisine. Meanwhile, Kotani is aiming to succeed in New York with cuisine made from traditional Japanese soba noodles made from buckwheat flour, also used to make American pancakes and French galettes. They met again at a dinner party hosted by Israelow, held after this year’s qualifying tournament of the “Washoku World Challenge” in New York. The program looks at the new trends in Washoku through the eyes of Israelow and Kotani.

The Washoku World Challenge is a cooking contest in which Japanese cuisine chefs from all over the world compete in technical expertise and passion for Japanese food.

The contest, the 5th of its kind, is organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan for non-Japanese chefs.

About 100 contestants from 23 countries and regions applied and competed at the qualifying tournaments held in 6 cities worldwide.