anibee's questions to Chef Aki Watanabe

anibee gets the chance to speak to Chef Aki Watanabe from Shermay's Cooking School and share with us her thoughts on Japanese home-style cooking!

Japanese chef
IMAGE SOURCE: SHERMAY'S COOKING SCHOOL FACEBOOK

anibee: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! Please introduce yourself and how long you've been in the industry!

Watanabe: As you already know, my name is Aki Watanabe. I have spent over 15 years in this industry. I started off as a chef in Japan, moved to Singapore to work as a full-time chef in a restaurant and now run cooking classes, both on my own and for Shermay's cooking school

sushi
IMAGE SOURCE: SHERMAY'S COOKING SCHOOL FACEBOOK

anibee: It's been stated (on the website) that you specialise in Japanese home-style cooking. What do you feel is the essence of the dishes that comprise this field of cooking?

Watanabe: Japanese home style cooking is an art form passed down over many generations. The preparation of these dishes encompasses everything from using the freshest of ingredients to presentation. Each dish presents its own challenges, so basically the essence of it all boils down to passion, skill and an appreciation of the finer things in life.

sushi set
IMAGE SOURCE: SHERMAY'S COOKING SCHOOL FACEBOOK

anibee: What is cooking like for you at home with your family? How does it differ from when you cook professionally?

Watanabe: Cooking professionally is about weighing what can be sold against the cost. For the family, cost is never an issue, it's about health and the gastronical experience. I am not saying cooking professionally does not require that, but compromises need to be made for economical reasons, which is understandable.

Japanese home-style cooking
IMAGE SOURCE: SHERMAY'S COOKING SCHOOL FACEBOOK

anibee: What is your personal favourite dish?

Watanabe: Perfectly cooked rice with miso soup made with organic miso paste my mother made, horse mackerel with fresh wasabi and raw egg!

Japanese sushi
IMAGE SOURCE: SHERMAY'S COOKING SCHOOL FACEBOOK

anibee: What advice do you have for budding chefs?

Watanabe: Stay humble, never lose sight of what made you the way you are (keep your traditions) and always keep looking out to improve and create something new!

Japanese cakes
IMAGE SOURCE: SHERMAY'S COOKING SCHOOL FACEBOOK

- Lana