Gelinaz Stay In with Niki Nakayama

Gelinaz, the chef’s collective,  are back in town on the 3rd December. But this time, they are not travelling, they are staying “at home”. What travels this time, are their recipes. Each chef had to submit eight recipes that are typical for him/her, but she/he never served them at the restaurant yet. Those recipes were then shuffled and sent to another chef who will remix them in his/her own way and serve on the 3rd of December, for one night only, dishes inspired by those recipes to her/his guests. The guests and the chef will get to know whose recipes was interpreting the chef only at the end of the dinner through the Gelinaz ambassador who will attend the dinner (I will be that night the ambassador at the Aimsir restaurant in Ireland). Ambassadors will also take care of communication from the restaurants on that night, so if you are curious what is happening on the other side of the world, do follow us on Instagram (mine is here).

Niki has received the recipes. And now?


What was your first thought when you read the recipes you received?

My first thought was: “How to interpret these important historical dishes with integrity and honour to its background?”

What do you think of them now?

I still feel strongly about doing the menu and dishes justice because the menu we got represents a very large community here in Southern California and we hope that our take on it honours their heritage without ever claiming any sort of expertise on our end.  We hope that our presentation of these dishes honours the people and heir cuisine.

If you had to choose an animal to describe them, what would it be?

Panda because it’s ubiquitous with the culture.

How will you approach it?

We plan to utilise the ingredients with our own techniques for some courses and for others their techniques worth our flavours and for the rest a blend of both our cultures.

What will be the greatest challenge for you in this Gelinaz project?

Our greatest challenge will be to present the dishes that are already familiar to so many people but still find ways to express them so that the experience still feels unique and special.

And what are you looking forward to?

Crafting a narrative for the dishes that are interesting and fun for our guests to learn about because in researching the dishes we found so many interesting facts about their origins.  

After this event is behind you, what’s the next thing?
We’re excited to announce that we’ll be doing a collaborative dinner the following week where we’ll be utilizing some of the ingredients and techniques we learned from this event.  
Niki will cook at n/naka in Los Angeles. Tickets are available here.


PS Do check also Viviana VareseBo Songvisava & Dylan JonesAntonio GalapitoChristophe HardiquestAntonia Klugmann, Jordan BaileySelassie Atadika, Rodolfo GuzmanAlberto Landgraf, Virgilio Martinez,Alex Atala, Zaiyu Hasegawa and Santiago Lastra.

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