David Bouley on Japanese Influences

Chef and restaurateur David Bouley on how the Japanese focus on culinary simplicity has shaped his restaurant Brushstroke

Released on 3/6/2013

Credits

Starring: David Bouley

Transcript

00:10
An opportunity came up and I decided
00:12
to build a test kitchen and an Asian restaurant
00:16
because I started to understand
00:18
the benefits of Japanese cooking.
00:20
What is it about Japanese cooking that is
00:22
so interesting to you?
00:24
For me, I had closed Bouley And I was on the way to
00:26
cook for the royal family in Thailand.
00:30
On the way there, Misisugi, who I knew,
00:33
he says Come to Japan for training.
00:35
I'm going to show you what Japanese food is.
00:36
I went a few weeks early with my staff,
00:38
and they taught me kaiseki cooking.
00:40
I was just totally seduced by it,
00:44
by the taste, by the purity.
00:46
At that moment, I understood why Japanese people
00:48
like what I was doing at Bouley,
00:50
particularly the tomato water, which I think
00:52
we were the first one here in the states.
00:53
The level of purity, the connection
00:56
to mother nature, is what they live by.
00:59
It's interesting because some of these ingredients
01:00
that in Japan were here first,
01:03
and went there after the war.
01:05
How the Japanese, we can learn some much from them
01:09
because they only focus on a small
01:12
margin of things in their whole life,
01:14
and they elevate that short list high up
01:19
We expand out this way, and try to go up.
01:23
So, they could do the same thing for
01:24
40 years, and do it better every
01:27
single day and never be bored.
01:29
I tell my staff that that was also a
01:32
realization I learned from them, because
01:34
I probably have a handful of signature dishes,
01:37
but through those signature dishes
01:38
which I've been doing all this time,
01:40
I try to do them better and better.
01:42
And I tell my staff that is the process of which
01:47
I have been able to learn how to do
01:49
a thousand other dishes.