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Dining with the Chef in summer!

Hot Summer Greetings from our Producer

Summer in Japan reaches temperatures of 30°C and higher. This month, we headed to Toyama Prefecture in the Hokuriku region for a new episode of "Cook Around Japan". The Hokuriku region is located in the center of Honshu's Sea of Japan coast, and is known for its wide variety of outstanding seafood, as well as the delicious vegetables and rice grown with the pure water that flows from the Central Alps — and that rice and pure water are great for brewing sake.

In recent years, the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line has made it possible to get from Tokyo to Toyama in just two hours, and now it's easier than ever to enjoy the area's old-fashioned traditional lifestyle, between the beautiful sea and the mountains, as well as the treasure trove of sophisticated foods that Toyama offers. For those in the know, it's one of Japan's hottest destinations right now.

And when travelers in the know arrive in Toyama, they head for a restaurant that practices the latest in cuisine available only in Toyama. Chef Rika came to Toyama to meet that restaurant's chef: Eiji Taniguchi.

Chef Rika met chefs, wine makers, craft makers, farmers, and others in Toyama who are working to give the Toyama brand international appeal through their excellent taste and techniques, leading her to fall in love with Toyama and plan a trip of her own for later. We hope that readers who visit Japan don't go to just Kanazawa, but also make the trip out to Toyama to enjoy it for yourselves!

In July, Chef Rika visited Seattle in the United States, appearing at a local food festival and on TV to introduce some of the recipes from Dining with the Chef to Seattle locals, and meeting many local fans. Dining with the Chef helps introduce Japanese cuisine to people around the world, so our chefs visit many countries in the hopes of meeting people face-to-face. Your hometown might just be the next place we visit, so keep an eye out!

In other good news, we've been getting some submissions from viewers who have made the recipes from the show! We look forward to seeing even more — you can submit your own photos at the "Post Your Table" link on our website. Our chefs have been shocked at how good your cooking looks, and can't wait to see even more from you!

Thank you all as well for your questions and comments. Dear Survivor Foodie, in the USA, we don't know exactly what Survivor Foodie from the US meant by "the ice cold ginger dressing," ginger is certainly one of Chef Rika's favorite ingredients. We'll put in a request with Rika for a salad recipe with a dressing made with ginger. In response to the question we got from Rose, NHK World is a publicly owned broadcaster, so we can't really endorse specific products and say which one to buy. There are many types of nam pla, and the flavor varies by maker, so if you try the kinds available to you in Hawaii, you're sure to find one you like. We got so many other comments and questions, too, and we hope to respond if we find the opportunity! Let us know any requests you might have for dishes to cover on our show, too. We hope that delicious and healthy Japanese cuisine helps everyone make it through the summer!

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