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Welcome to our new Dining with the Chef website!

Text: Yu Hayami

I am so excited to see this site as a way of communicating with you, our viewers!
I am sure you are a FOOD LOVER, as I am, and that makes me feel so connected to you already!
I can't remember when I started loving food so much, but my grandmother, who was a great cook, definitely made me a food lover. Born in Germany and raised in England, my grandmother made the best Italian. Huh?
Italian? You might say. But I guess it shows you that Italian is the best type of food to love wherever you are in the world! My mother, who was born and raised in Japan, usually cooked Japanese food, such as KINPIRA GOBO, which is a spicy stir fry of burdock and carrot, thinly sliced, with sesame seed and sesame oil. Oh so fragrant! While my grandmother cooked western cuisine, such as lasagna. I was very fortunate to have been able to grow up being exposed to various types of cuisines in the household. Living in Hawaii piqued my interest in food further. Where else can you get the best Bahn Mi with a pho soup on the side and call it "French dip?"

Being a mother of 2 daughters, I am so happy to see their interest in food as well. At home, I try out different dishes which I learn from Chef Saito, and my family loves them! The other day, I made beef steak with ume sesame sauce, and my family devoured it! In our home, we have a "you-must-have-2-bites-of-everything-rule." Growing up, the girls had their whims of "I don't like that, it looks weird!" or "Yucky! That smells funny." But I enforced our house rule, and if after two bites, they still didn't like it, they didn’t have to eat it. Thanks to that house rule, my girls eat everything! And they too have discovered the joy of eating.

Working with Chef Saito is amazing! On our program, Chef Saito teaches us how to make very traditional Japanese dishes. Some of the dishes are quite difficult to make. But he makes it look so easy. And he is so humorous!! He makes cooking fun! I hope you will watch our program and try out our dishes. And if and when you do, make sure you send in a photo and let us know how we are doing and what kind of foods you want to see on our show!