Top Chefs Unite to Promote Fukushima Food Products; Move Comes Amid Treated Water Release Concerns

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Japanese Culinary Academy chairman Masahiro Kurisu, front row, third from right, and other members in the Kyoto prefectural government office on Friday

The Japanese Culinary Academy announced Friday that it will be launching a support project for Fukushima agricultural and marine products. The Kyoto-based NPO, made up of chefs from across Japan, made the announcement amid concerns over reputational damage to Fukushima-produced food products due to the release of treated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the sea.

Key figures from traditional Kyoto cuisine establishments are involved in the organization. About 30 of them plan to visit Fukushima to try its traditional food and collaborate with local chefs to develop new dishes. They will also organize culinary events in the metropolitan and Kansai areas using ingredients from the prefecture.

Additionally, member establishments of the organization will promote the use of these ingredients, giving out information about their safety and culinary culture.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we too received warm support,” said Masahiro Kurisu, chairman of the organization and head of a Kyoto cuisine restaurant, at a press conference at the Kyoto prefectural government office.

“With a feeling of gratitude and giving back, we hope to support the people of Fukushima and the Tohoku region.”