Recipe for Mackerel and Cauliflower Purée by Atsuki Kuroda
For this winter dish, the chef chose to grill the fish using a blowtorch to make the flesh both soft and crispy.
In December 2021, Atsuki Kuroda had a two-week residency at the wine bar Early June in Paris. For this occasion, he devised a recipe for grilled mackerel accompanied by cauliflower purée and slices of raw cauliflower. He initially wanted to offer traditional Japanese cuisine, known as washoku, but the strength of flavour of the French ingredients prevailed over the more subtle flavour of Japanese condiments like dashi. As a result, he opted to showcase local products.
Atsuki Kuroda started out in cookery at the age of 18, and trained at a specialised school. Just one year later, he began working in an Italian restaurant in Osaka. European gastronomy appealed to him, and he travelled to Italy at the age of 24 and joined the team at a Michelin-starred restaurant. After this, he spent a few years in Norway before returning to Japan in 2019 to open his first restaurant, Caveman.
His new project, AC HOUSE, is set to open on 10 May 2022 in the Minami Aoyama district in Tokyo. In a location that’s deliberately narrow, the chef will deliver his menu in front of a few selected individuals with a view to forging a connection with his guests. For this new concept, Atsuki Kuroda prioritises high-quality local products that he has sourced himself. He is eager to establish a direct relationship with his suppliers, like this fisherman from Kyushu who practises the fish killing method known as shinkei jime.
This proximity to suppliers and nature draws on his childhood memories. Atsuki Kuroda enjoys thinking back to the meals his grandmother would make in the rural region of Tanba and Sasayama, in Hyogo prefecture. The memory of excursions into the forest, where he only had to bend down to pick and savour wild strawberries and chestnuts, has left a strong impression on him. His cuisine infuses a combination of his childhood memories and his experience working overseas.
Atsuki Kuroda approaches his style of cuisine much like a DJ modifying a track, adding particular ingredients as he goes based on the effect they produce, like when a professional on the decks suddenly brings up the level of a particular instrument to draw attnetion to it.
More information about Atsuki Kuroda and AC HOUSE can be found on the restaurant’s Instagram account.
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