Kisetsukan Essence /four seasons/

The Kisetsukan essence of the seasons, the word that describes food at its peak, the optimal time to enjoy a fruit or vegetable in season. Respecting the very nature of what nature has to offer. For example each season has its fruit and vegetable, and at the same time the dishware used associates with the season reflecting the seasonality.

Many years ago I was at the Quilted Giraffe operated by Barry Wine, an ex-attorney that became a chef. He was top of the game and one if not amongst the most talented American chefs. But at his restaurant you would find summer dishware in the winter. When I asked when he visits Japan he would go during his holidays and that was summer-hence he always purchased summer dishware and was unaware of the seasonality.

The Japanese psyche is built around seasonality and the markets express their clients desires for season changes. The attention to season is identified with the term Kisetsukan and can be traced back to Shinto religion as well to Japan agrarian past.

In the past tradition was much more prevalent and both the physical settings where people would sit and eat was focused on the beauty, simplicity and the quietness. The idea of a rock garden symbolizing a river flowing, a story told at spring would have been more meaningful.