The Exquisite Cuisine of Kyoto's Kikunoi Restaurant
by Yoshihiro Murata and Masashi Kuma
Published by Kodansha International
In the same way that kaiseki itself is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate, chef Murata’s Kaiseki is at once a cookbook and a work of art. This sumptuously illustrated volume features—in seasonal format—the style of cooking that began as tea ceremony accompaniment and developed into the highest form of Japanese cuisine.
Kaiseki celebrates the natural ingredients of each season with a spectacular presentation. After a front section explaining the history and components of kaiseki cuisine, Yoshihiro Murata, the third generation owner/chef of Kyoto’s famed Kikunoi restaurant, introduces the establishment’s menu. With candidness and insight, he shares his thoughts on ingredients, preparation methods and the philosophy behind his dishes. He explains how the cuisine has changed over the years—and continues to do so. He even explains how some dishes evolved as he searched for the proper combination of ingredients. Approximately twenty dishes from each season, chosen by chef Murata, have been lovingly and carefully photographed to convey the experience of being a guest at the Kikunoi restaurant. The book also features a glossary of kaiseki terms and exact recipes from the Kikunoi kitchen.