The colors are amazing! One of my favorite
designers said to look to nature for color
inspiration. She said that mother nature mixes
all sorts of colors and it is never garish.
These pics are from Michel Bras Toya Japon. One of
Ten Best French Restaurants Outside France.
One restaurant they are specifically known for is the 3 star
Michelin chef, Michel Bras’ restaurant. I haven’t yet had the
opportunity to visit his restaurant in Laguiole in France, but the
concept here in Toya is the same. In fact, he chose this location
due to its similarity to Aubrac. His ambition was to bring his
culinary philosophy to Lake Toya, where he felt that it can be
interpreted without losing its authenticity. Since Hokkaido offers
some of the most wonderful vegetables, fish, and meat in Japan,
it’s works harmoniously with Michel Bras’ concept of preserving
the local produce and highlighting the pureness of each ingredient.
The dining experience is a poetic culinary journey. Even the menu
itself reads like a poem. This evening, the menu was titled
“Escape and Land”, with an excerpt from Michel Bras’ journal
which inspired the them of the menu. All of our dishes were poetry
and art on a plate–it’s certainly not just great food with beautiful
presentation. I’ve never experienced such a cerebral dinner. He
doesn’t want you to just taste the food, he wants you to think
about it. It kind of sounds intrusive or pretentious, but it isn’t.
His desire is for you to experience something beyond how you
normally perceive food. He succeeds, and thankfully, Michel Bras
can back up his culinary philosophy with fantastic dishes. For the
meat course, we asked if we could request something other
than chicken, which was on the menu that evening. They graciously
replaced it with filet of Tokachi beef from Hokkaido. We don’t
know how the chicken was, but the beef was absolute heaven.
It had so much flavor but it wasn’t overly rich. And it was so
tender that you almost didn’t have to use your Laguiole knife.
The unanimous consensus: the best beef we’ve ever had.
We still talked about it the next morning.
How lucky of us that Michel Bras brought his genius to Hokkaido.
He’s willing to forgo a Michelin star (currently, the Michelin guide
reviews only the Tokyo area and the Kyoto-Osaka area) and set
his restaurant in Lake Toya, just to stay true to his philosophy
and concept. He’s a true artist, not just a chef. And I’m willing
to make that trip to Lake Toya just to experience Michel Bras’
wonderful world of food.