Tastes of Japan at Blacklea

Executive Chef, Nathan White, has been conducting Master Cooking Classes at the Blacklea Vineyard in Mudgee three times a year for the past 7 years. Last weekend, inspired by his fiance Aki Morimoto, he conducted his first Japanese classes.

Nathan explained his primary objective in the classes was to reflect a traditional cuisine that has been honed, nurtured and refined over centuries. He said “For me, the key is to use predominantly fresh seasonal ingredients, to produce pure and delicate flavours in as natural state as possible and as fresh as possible”.

The 14 participants in each Class were introduced to some of the great Japanese flavours and textures, including the tasty and traditional miso soup (a cornerstone of Japanese cooking); dashi (the most classic broth used as a base for numerous Japanese dishes); takoyaki (octopus balls available on streets and restaurants throughout Japan); katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes for cooking and garnishing); gyoza (a dumpling unique to Japan); edamame (from soy beans, a quintessimal Japanese ‘starter’).

“Dessert was very special. I made a matcha cheesecake (from Japanese green tea) which I served with black sesame ice cream. It won me many friends,” he said.

The next Master Classes at the Blacklea Vineyard are on the long weekend in September/October. Some vacancies exist in the Friday Class. The Saturday and Sunday Classes are already booked out.