Video: Female Kaiseki Chef Explains The Culinary Art Form And Her Experience As A Female Chef
Kaiseki is a reverent form of dining that you truly have to experience to understand. It's a traditional Japanese art in the form of food that displays the seasons, where courses read more like an opera than a tasting menu. And over at n/naka in Culver City, chef Niki Nakayama is doing it best, growing her own produce and presenting it in magnificent forms.
Her experience training in Japan as a woman was a very unique one, where she spent a lot of time washing dishes. But she gathered as much information as she could, and came back to Los Angeles, where she's gaining accolades for her detailed cuisine.
Now, the chef/owner runs the fine dining kitchen with her life partner, Carole Iida, who joined n/naka as the sous chef earlier this year. Together the two women plate a magnificent dishes that stun guests at their intimate dining room. And they're doing it all even though the food world is something of a boy's club: according to NPR, 80 percent of head chefs are men.
The night we filmed, there were all women in the kitchen, a real rarity in the business.
We talked to Nakayama about the fine art of kaiseki and what it means to be a modern woman in the video below. Take a look. And be sure to check out the other chefs featured in our Women in Food video series here.