在日式秘鲁菜中，日本的美食概念对秘鲁菜影响甚大，津村光晴 (Mitsuharu Tsumura) 先生是日式秘 …
在日式秘鲁菜中，日本的美食概念对秘鲁菜影响甚大，津村光晴 (Mitsuharu Tsumura) 先生是日式秘鲁菜系最知名的主厨之一，像许多烹饪大师一样，他视自己的创作为艺术。
“ 对我来说，秘鲁菜是重金属音乐，而日本菜则是古典音乐。两者需要彼此调和、完美交融在一起。” 他说。
当然，这样的融合也需要科学方法 ：“ 我们了解这两种菜系的特性，这很重要。” 津村光晴解释。
我们和主厨的采访就这样开始。津村光晴在秘鲁首都利马拥有日式秘鲁菜概念餐厅 Maido，这家餐厅在 2018圣佩莱格里诺全球 50 最佳餐厅中排名第 7。在美狮美高梅的特色日式秘鲁菜餐厅 —— 雅吉餐厅，津村先生与主厨Edwin Guzman Navarro 以及经理 Alexandre Santos 领导的团队携手打造一份新菜单。
津村光晴 : 我经常与团队交流。加入这家餐厅的头几个月，我的工作更偏重于创造性。现在我会提出想
法，但 90% 的工作是由主厨 Edwin 和团队完成的。实际上，他们也会提出想法，然后问我 ：“您认为这个想法怎么样？”我们也会采用其中一些想法。Edwin 知道我的喜好。我也给他一些意见。这就是团队合作，但主要执行人是 Edwin。
Edwin 一直是一位非常有才华和创造力的厨师。他曾经和我一起在 Maido 餐厅工作。他在秘鲁的一个大赛中获得过最佳青年厨师奖。Edwin 很随和，与酒店内外的每个人以及团队都建立了良好的关系。在香港也是如此。这次来的时候，我很惊讶，因为每个人都认识他。我感到非常自豪和高兴，这是一个挑战，但我认为他做得非常好。
EDWIN: 当初光晴先生决定选择我与他一起前往澳门，开设 Aji 这间餐厅，当时确实是个挑战。要寻找与
津村光晴 : 我们努力为客人创造独具特色的菜肴。例如，鳍边肉是鱼身上质量最好也最珍贵的部分，但
大多数人不知道。我第一次去日本时大约在 17 年前，当时也不知道这事。在秘鲁，我们会直接把鳍边肉扔掉，因为它们很难处理。有一天，我在日本的老板看到我切鱼却把鳍边肉扔了，非常生气地问我 ：“ 鳍边肉呢？为什么不用？那是鱼身上最贵的部分。价值相当于这整条鱼！ ”我一直记得那一次。如果不擅长处理鱼骨，就会损失一半鳍边肉。鱼的这些坚韧部位最适合在一定温度下烹制，因为它们在烹制之前非常硬，烹制过后就会变得很软。如今，秘鲁的餐厅也学会充分利用鳍边肉。
津村光晴 : 我很高兴听说雅吉有 80% 或以上的客人都是本地人。
津村光晴 : 我更关注当下的生活。我不喜欢计划，但有时必须制定计划，这就是我的工作。很多人认为我很有条理，但其实不是。每天醒来时，我会努力让这一天过得完美。但是，如果我制定太多的计划，反而可能实现不了，这种事曾经在我身上发生过。所以说，我所经历的美好都是在没有计划的情况下发生的，因此我真的不知道要制定什么计划。但有一件事我知道我会去做，那就是关闭我在利马的餐厅。Maido 将在大约三四年内关闭。
智利和中国的这两家概念餐厅基本上是仅有的两家让我花费巨大的精力来经营的餐厅。未来我会开一些休闲的餐厅，不追求排名，只要价格合理、品质优良。我想让菜肴更大众化。我想开设能让更多人都可以去体验的概念餐厅 —— 那就是幸福。我们可以制作美味可口但没这么昂贵的食物。美食的未来都会走休闲随意的路线。如果客人想用手吃饭，就用手吃饭 ；也没有着装要求。只有让客人
In the world of Nikkei cuisine, Mitsuharu Tsumura is a maestro,blending Japanese and Peruvian tastes and techniques. And like any maestro, he sees his creations as an art form.
“To me, it is like music: Peruvian cuisine is heavy metal,and Japanese cuisine is classical. The two need to harmonizewell, in a perfect combination,” he says.
It is also an art form that requires a scientific approach.
“It is important that we understand the DNA of both cuisines,”he explains.
And so begins an enthralling interview with one of Peru’s masterchefs, owner of the legendary restaurant Maido in Lima, a Nikkei concept which ranked #7 in the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018. He is here in Macau to work on his latest pride and joy, putting together a new menu for MGM COTAI’s signature Nikkei restaurant, Aji.
At Aji, perched over the property’s gigantic main courtyard, where light streams in from the dome above, Tsumura works with a team led by chef Edwin Guzman Navarro and manager Alexandre Santos. Their goal, which we are here to evaluate, is to elevate the restaurant’s original menu to another level, through their best and most creative efforts. Additional ingredients from Peru have been imported in order to produce a more complex taste profile. The result is an explosion of well-balanced flavors and aesthetics that surprise the senses.
Umami takes center stage for creations like causa, a dish of mashed potato filled with yellow chilli, king crab, and salmon roe layered on a bed of black rice cracker.
For lovers of beef tartar, Aji’s version of the raw beef delight is enhanced with sea urchin, quail egg, and truffle chapla. Mushroom fanatics will be thrilled by shiitake, enoki and king oyster mushroom in broth. Lastly, the rocoto, a dessert filled with coconut, cinnamon foam, chocolate praline and peanut ice cream, sweetens the palate with its diverse textures. It is the perfect conclusion to a rich meal characterized by sophisticated combinations and innovative artistry.
After the tasting, we sit down with the Nikkei chefs for a tasteful conversation.
Q:Macau Inc:How do you work with your team here?
Chef Mitsuharu Tsumura: We communicate constantly. For the first few months of the first year, I was more involved creatively. Now I give ideas, but I would say that 90% of the job is done by Edwin and the team. Actually, they come up with ideas and they ask me, “What do you think about this?” And we take the ideas from there. Edwin knows what kind of flavors I like. I also give ideas. So it is teamwork, but mostly executed by Edwin.
Edwin has always been a very talented and creative chef. When he worked with me in Maido, he was voted the best young chef in Peru. Edwin has really developed a good relationship with everybody here, in the hotel, with the team, and outside the hotel. Also, in Hong Kong. He is very easy going. When I came this time, I was surprised because everybody knows him. I feel proud and very happy because before coming here, it was a challenge, but I think he has done very well and engaged with people.
Q: Please share your experience in Macau.
Chef Edwin Guzman Navarro: It was a challenge when Mitsuharu decided to bring myself to Macau and
develop the concept of Aji here, in China. It was a challenge looking for new products similar to the Peruvian ones and starting to cook with people who didn’t know anything about our cuisine and our flavors. But I can say the first year was very good. We were tired but enjoyed the work.
Q: How have you been overcoming the challenge of sourcing?
Chef Edwin: At first, we were looking forward to the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, because half of the products we needed were in Hong Kong. But even since that happened, delivery has not been easy. We have some ingredients flown directly from Peru, but it’s very expensive. Peruvian cuisine is developing more in Hong Kong than in Macau – products are going to Hong Kong first and then sent to other places. We are still trying to find new suppliers.
Q: And ingredients from Japan?
Chef Edwin: I went with Mitsuharu to Japan and tried the food there. I saw the ingredients, but was not very familiar with all of them. Fortunately, we have Mitsuharu to ask: how should we work with products that we never saw before?
Q:How is the new menu different – an elevation of the previous menu?
Chef Mitsuharu: We always try to make something special for our guests. Engawa, for example, is of top quality and a precious part of the fish, but most people don’t know what it is. When I first went to Japan, nearly 17 years ago, I didn’t know about it also, because in Peru, we didn’t use it – we threw it away, because it is hard. My boss in Japan was watching me one day and, when I cut the fish and left the engawa out, he got mad. “Where’s the Engawa?” He said. “Why not use that? That is the most expensive part, worth the same as the whole fish!”
I’m never going to forget that. If you don’t go very well into the bone of the fish, you can lose half of the engawa. These tough parts of the fish are the best for cooking – for giving heat – because they’re very hard when they are raw, but they are very tender when they are cooked. Nowadays, it is catching on and restaurants in Peru are using it.
Q: Who are your clients here?
Restaurant Manager Alexandre Santos: Expats and locals. They accept the food, but it is very new for them. You need to really make an effort to explain what our dishes are. After opening up the menu, we try our best to go to the table and explain.
Chef Mitsuharu: I was happy to hear that 80% or more of the customers of Aji are locals.
Q: What is your goal for the future?
Chef Mitsuharu: I take life day-by-day. I don’t like to plan, but I have to sometimes because that’s the way my work is. Many people think I’m very organised, but I am not. When I wake up every day, I try to make my day perfect. But when I plan something too much, it doesn’t work. The best things in my life have happened without planning. So, I really don’t know what I’m going to do. One of the things I know I’m going to do is that I’m going to close my restaurant in Lima. Maido is going to close in approximately three or four more years.
My concepts in Chile and China are basically the only two concepts with this much elaboration. What I open in the future will be very casual. I am not looking to be in a ranking, just good food at a good price. I want to make my food more democratic. I want to open more concepts where everybody can go. That is happiness. We can make tasty food, without being so expensive. The future of food is informality. Do whatever you want. If you want to eat with your hands, eat with your hands. No dress code. There’s no better way to eat than the way you feel comfortable. I never wear suits, for example. If you tell me I have to dress up to go to a restaurant, I don’t go. I never wear a shirt, that’s the way I am.