(Hello everybody, this is Ryo
About two weeks ago I was traveling around Tokyo, Chiba and Yamagata for a week. Upon my return to Takihagara Farm from Tokyo I was greeted by the breeze of spring. Finally soaked by the warm sunlight, the mountains have started to look green…and stink bugs have started appearing inside the house.
It might perhaps be because I had never been in such a cold place before, but I was overwhelmed by the joy of feeling the warmth of spring. I felt just like a bear waking up from my long winter slumber.)

(A few days ago, we had three cooks visit us at Takihagara Farm: Ryosuke, from Ikiba in Tokyo, along french trained Nao, and Marco, coming to visit us from Mexico.)

(After I went to greet them with Miuru-chan at the Komatsu Station , we headed to Seseragi no Sato.)

(Seseragi is an onsen that is currently being renewed to be opened on April this year. They are planning on starting buffet service operated by local grandmothers, and Ryosuke has been visiting Komatsu periodically to give them basic cooking lessons.
This time together with the help from Nao and Marco, Ryosuke taught the grannies how to cook several dishes, including ayu confit, tomato sauce pasta, salad dressing, and pizza. Although it was their first time to come here, both Nao and Marco managed to turn this experience into a fun cooking class, the old ladies seemed very much to enjoy.)

せせらぎを終え、一行はTakigahara Farmへ。
(After Seseragi, we headed to Takihagara Farm.
Taking advantage of having such skilled guests we decided to have a dinner party and I called around 15 people from the Hokuriku area.)

(That day, we found super fresh fish at the super market: Buri (amberjack), Shirako, Yari-ika (spear squid), Zuwai Crab, among others. We also got our hands onto some wild boar meat from one of the villagers, and fresh seasonal produce from the nearby farms.)
まずは、メニューを紹介します。(Named by Nao)
(Let me now introduce the menu (named by Nao)

イカのポシェと菜の花のちょっとピリ辛(-Poached Squid with Spicy Na-no-hana)


甘辛豚の香ばし焼きと焼きネギサラダ(-Fragrant Sweet and Spicy Braised Pork with Grilled Long Onion Salad)

鮎のコンフィとふきのとうソースのほろ苦い前菜(-Appetizer made with Ayu Confit and Butterbrown sprouts)

おいしい出汁のおいしい蟹鍋(- and a delicious crab hot pot made with delicious dashi)
(All of the dishes were wonderful. Each one of them made with beloved ingredients from the region, but presented in a completely different way from what people here are used to. The atmosphere was so convivial, thanks to our three guest cooks we surely had a delightful evening.)
(The main dish of this day was Marco’s blue corn tacos, which he filled with the boar meat we got from the villager and topped with a very special sauce he made with shiitake mushrooms from Ishikawa Prefecture.
Let me give you a little bit of background about Marco. This guy has been doing tacos in Mexico for quite a few years and had his own very popular taqueria back there. Looking to broaden his horizons, Marco recently came to Japan, and using our unique ingredients he says he is trying to fulfill his dream of making the best tacos in the world. )

(photo by Marco)
(Marco makes his tacos using blue corn. According to him, in order for a taco to be good, first of all the tortilla has to be good, and in order to achieve that yourself, of course, using good quality corn. For this evening, Marco brought with him very special kind of blue corn that grows only in central Mexico. He prepared the corn using and turned into masa (tortilla dough) using a portable mill. The process took quite a bit of time, from cooking the corn with an alkaline solution, grinding the corn, and shaping and cooking the tortillas on a griddle and finally stuffing the tacos. Talk to me about craft food.)

(photo by Marco)
コーンを煮て、つぶして、捏ねて、焼くトルティーヤ。これぞまさにCraft Food。

(Sautéed wild boar and a spicy sauce made with locally sourced shiitake and red chillies, what a dramatic collaboration between Ishikawa and Mexico!)

(Marco came to Japan looking for new and exciting sources of inspiration, to create his own style of cooking, and I think he certainly found them. Everybody was delighted, and I heard a lot of them saying “I’d never had tacos this good!”
Last year I went to Mexico and I got to meet Marco and stay at his home for two weeks, he is a very good friend of mine. Having him here and getting to enjoy his cooking here in Takihagara was a great pleasure for me.)
(This time’s dinner party was so fun that nobody wanted to leave. Although it was a little bit improvised, thanks to everybody who came, the three cooks and the Takihagara staff everything turned out alright. Having events this fun made me think that this could be the begging of some sort of interesting collaboration. I realized how important it is to have moments like these in ones everyday life. Wouldn’t it be great for Takigahara Farm to become a place for such occurrences? I want this to be a place where people can come, eat something delicious and have some fun.)

(The date for the next gathering is yet to be decided, but I will keep you updated. )


Text ///Ryo Ogawa
Photo///©Yoichi Naiki,Marco,Miuru Yukinaka
English///Marco Garcia