Master Ichikawa, what a lesson!

The chef of Iyo at Identità Expo with a new team and Claudio Liu. Waiting for his duet with Cedroni

19-05-2015
In the middle, master Haruo Ichikawa surrounded by

In the middle, master Haruo Ichikawa surrounded by his main collaborators, Masaki Okada e Hiroshi Noda. The chef from Iyo, starred restaurant in Via Piero della Francesca 74, in Milan (tel: +39.02.45476898), was the protagonist of the lesson, yesterday in the afternoon at Identità Expo. He will be back in the same kitchen for the fourhanded lunch on Sunday 7th June with Moreno Cedroni (five courses paired with wines for 90 euros. For reservations expo@magentabureau.it or +39 02 62012701)

Ask Claudio Liu what dish he could never take off the menu of his Iyo in Milan – as the author of this piece asked yesterday in the afternoon, during the cooking demonstration dedicated to “Cucine del mondo”, part of Identità Expo – and the 33-year-old patron would say with decision: «A dish from two and a half years ago, Taiyo».

This is how Taiyo is described in the menu: seared Argentinian prawn millefoglie, red prawns from Mazara del Vallo, yuzu mayonnaise, calamari and tomato. Right yet not enough: it is hard to convey the magic, the magnetism, I’d say, that emanates from this “simple” little dish. A preparation that crosses two Caudine Forks: it must be made with raw materials that go beyond excellence and it must be balanced: it takes little for the two sauces with which it is garnished to prevail. Taiyo, on the contrary, has a perfect, sumptuous and fulfilling palate.

Taiyo, that is to say a millefoglie with seared Argentinian prawn, red prawn from Mazara del Vallo, yuzu mayonnaise, calamari and tomato: a creation by Ichikawa that can’t be taken off the menu at Iyo

Taiyo, that is to say a millefoglie with seared Argentinian prawn, red prawn from Mazara del Vallo, yuzu mayonnaise, calamari and tomato: a creation by Ichikawa that can’t be taken off the menu at Iyo

How is this possible? Master Haruo Ichikawa tried to explain this live, with the aid of his two new Japanese sous chefs, Masaki Okada and Hiroshi Noda, while the absence of the third new face at Iyo, 26-year-old Michele Biassoni, was justified.

Indeed chef Ichikawa tried to explain this with facts, by preparing Taiyo in front of our eyes. Starting from the two sauces. The first is one of his creations. I called it “fusion” and was reprimanded by Liu: «What’s fusion? I don’t understand. We do something simple: we use a traditional Japanese technique to enhance the excellent products that Milano makes available for us to the highest level». So this would be Japanese cuisine with Italian ingredients, the exact opposite of what Luca Fantin does in Tokyo, where he uses local products to make Italian food? This time the patron doesn’t protest.

A moment of the cooking demonstration

A moment of the cooking demonstration

Let’s move to the sauces then. We start from those as it is best to let them rest a while. The first: a mayonnaise (100 gr) with yuzukoshō (30 gr), a cream made with yuzu zest, an oriental mandarin-looking fruit, with salt and chilli pepper. The second seasoning is instead traditional in Tokyo and the surroundings: you make it by mixing some saké (10 ml), miso (100 gr), miso vinegar (10 ml), mirin (sweet saké, 40 ml), sugar (30 gr), yuzu juice (40 ml) and chilli pepper.

Will this knock down the prawns? Not at all! Even the taste of the Piccadilly tomato is very clear: a slice is at the base of millefoglie, enclosed as if in a sandwich between the two halves of a lightly seared Argentinian prawn. On top, in sequence, the other ingredients: the fake mayo, a square made with seared calamari, a mouthful of raw red prawn from Mazara, the second sauce. Garnished with tobiko, flying fish eggs. Marvellous.


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Identità Expo

Activities, ideas and protagonists in Identità Golose's location inside the 2015 World Fair