Back to CNN content Sponsored Content by MAFF
© 2017 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System Europe, limited. All Rights Reserved. Terms of service Privacy guidelines Ad choices About us Contact us Work for us Help

Seeking Perfection


Scroll Down

The Japanese are renowned for being perfectionists, taking meticulous pride in everything they do. When it comes to food, Japan leads the way, never compromising on quality or freshness for the benefit of the consumer.

It is all

This respect starts right at the beginning – on the farms, at the fisheries, at the tea and rice plantations and the brewery too. A respect for time honored traditions and the people that honed and developed them. The pride taken at every step is inspiring.

Some things are meant to evolve and develop using new techniques and technology, and some things simply aren’t. The Japanese seem to know just what is required, and when to produce some of the best ingredients available. When I think of the perfect beef – the wonderful melting fat bursting with flavor – I think of Japanese Wagyu. The same goes for green tea, rice, sake and Japanese Seafood. They are all products that are supreme in quality and synonymous with Japan. They are a true reflection of the respect that is ingrained within their culture.

Dan DohertyDan

Chef Director at the world famous 24-hour fine dining Duck and Waffle restaurant in London, shares his food journey through Japan and the world-class ingredients he experienced along the way.

Find Dan on Instagram or visit his website.

The Japanese are more like craftsmen rather than food producers


Japanese Wagyu beef has a reputation for being one of the best beef in the world, for very good reasons too. Seeing the farmer’s eyes light up when he spoke about his cattle on his farm in Kyushu, south of Japan, goes to show just how much respect they have for, not only the cows but the way they rear them.

Watch the Film

The feed is organic oats and a combination of 10 different grains and minerals, which I tried, and it tasted good! You are what you eat after all. The meat is marbled to an extent that is impossible to describe - you have to see and taste it to believe it! And, once lightly grilled for barely a minute and simply seasoned, it quite literally melts in your mouth.

I’ve admired and craved after authentic Japanese Wagyu for years, and now, having seen and tasted it in Japan, I’m not going to stop.

The best
ways to enjoy
Japanese Rice

Japanese rice is possibly one of the most tasty, delicious rice we can find in Europe and the United States.

Watch the Film

Rice is the cornerstone staple for many countries, and Japan is certainly one of them. Japanese rice is possibly one of the most tasty and delicious in the world.

The Japanese have multiple ways of serving it ranging from a simple accompaniment to a curry or seasoning it with vinegar for Sushi, to shaping and garnishing with fermented plums for Onigiri. Each way is special in its own right, with rice being the foundation for a nourishing and tasty meal.

Learning how to make sushi was so interesting, but the simplicity of the onigiri is what really captured me. It's the perfect lunch box staple; it’s easy to transport and tastes just great. Who knew a simple grain could be so versatile!

The secret
to Japanese

Icy, clear water and a boat full of yellow tail. An army of Japanese workers ready to weigh, grade, gut and fillet the fish, and pack them fresh for shipment. That is what I witness while standing at the port at 5am Nagashima Island, visiting a yellow tail farm and processing factory.

Watch the Film

The Japanese seafood producers practice military-like precision and efficiency, with very careful cold storage management systems throughout the entire shipping logistics to keep the fish fresh. These are the extremes gone to get Japan’s finest seafood to our plates on the other side of the world.

The Japanese seafood producers practice military-like precision and efficiency.

Look out for Japanese Kamaboko (surimi seafood), a ready-to-eat seafood product loaded with protein and taste that is attracting increased attention from Europe and American consumers.

What's up
with Sake

Sake is a drink that I’ve heard of for years, but never really understood. As is expected with anything from Japan, it’s brewed using century old traditions that are refined with the technology of today. The result? A smooth, wonderful drink with a complex flavor profile that tastes phenomenal.

But what I find really fascinating is how versatile it is; not only does it go great with Japanese cuisine, but it can withstand the richness of a creamy chicken dish from France or the bold flavors of British cooking. The slight sweetness means it could stand up to a spicy curry too, no doubt. That's what I love about it, there really is no one true time to drink it!

Watch the Film

A smooth, wonderful drink with a complex flavor profile that tastes phenomenal.


Watching a Japanese green tea master transfer his freshly cold-brewed Japanese green tea from heated cup to heated cup, with such tranquility and elegance made me really understand just how relaxing the whole process is.

The green tea is soothing, but witnessing the calm movements whilst brewing it instilled an instant calming effect too. It’s the Japanese way; precise and respectful, to share with you something so special, made in the best possible way.

The leaves are brewed in cold water to stop them becoming bitter, then the liquid is transferred to a hot cup and swilled around before repeating the transfer a few more times. By the time you come to drink it, its warm, sweet and bursting with the flavors of Japanese mountains. If that doesn’t make you feel Zen, nothing will.

Watch the Film