Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Recently in the Eating and Cooking Category

Conversation with Isha Datar from New Harvest »

This year, the Shuttleworth Foundation asked me to be the honorary steward of the September 2016 fellowship intake. This meant that I would help review and recommend the people who would receive the Shuttleworth Fellowship which funds the fellow's salary as well as their project up to $250,000. It's one of the most interesting and successful fellowship programs that I know for funding unique, provocative and unconventional individuals and their ideas. I'm a huge fan. We saw some great applications and I was really happy with the three fellows selected for the round that I worked on, Achal, Isha...

TCHO Beta »

My TCHO Beta arrived. YUM! TCHO is one of my rare non-Internet investments. Several years ago, my old friend Timothy Childs told me he was starting a chocolate factory. I thought he was totally crazy. I sort of tried to ignore it for awhile, but he didn't give up and appeared to continue getting more and more excited. Finally he said he had sort of gotten things set up and invited me over to his super-secret lab and showed me around. I was really impressed. He told me his secret plans and said that my old friends Jane and...

The nutrition/environment connection »

I went to meet Dean Ornish the other day with Larry. We talk about various things trying to tie together free culture and health. After the meeting, Dean Ornish gave us his new book, The Spectrum. While the book isn't focused primarily on this, Dean Ornish points out the relationship between nutrition and the environment which I found very interesting. ...according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's report Livestock's Long Shadow, animal-based agribusiness generates more greenhouse gasses than all transportation combined. The livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as mesured in carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent than does transportatino...

Going off grid »

Yesterday, we started planning our veggie garden and started a compost bin. I'm trying to figure out what percentage of my total food intake I can grow at home. We have a relatively large yard by Japanese standards so most of this will be a matter of personal energy. I'm going to start small this year but try to increase my nutritional independence from commercial networks every year. My goal is to be able to cover nearly all of our fertilizer needs through the composting of all of our biodegradable garbage this year. Thinking through the various scenarios, I realized...

Being Vegan in India »

I really wasn't sure what to expect in India with respect to my strict vegan diet. This was my third time, but my first time to visit as a vegan. I am very sensitive to infections through the water and I ALWAYS get a bad belly, even when others don't. I've gotten a tummy ache every single time I've visited SE Asia including my two trips to India and my trips to Thailand and Bali. Because of this, I'm overly sensitive to drinking non-bottled water or things washed in non-bottled water. This made it rather difficult for me because that...

6 week vegan detox completed »

I just completed the my six weeks of vegan detox described in a previous post. It has been an enjoyable and enlightening experience. I've lost 11 kg or so, mostly in the first two weeks. My blood levels including a high uric acid level and y-GTP have gone back to "normal". Per my previous post, my cholesterol is a bit "too low" according to my physician and I am in the process of investigating my response to this. I'm fairly convinced that this diet is really good for me and that it is much more feasible than I anticipated. I...

Joi's Vegan Kitchen »

One big bonus of this whole foods vegan diet that I'm on is that my kitchen is clean. No more dead animals in my trash, just left over plant parts. No more oil on my plates either so washing dishes is a snap. I've also begun toting my food around. My knapsack is full of baggies of raw vegetables and fruit and I can easily set up a meal anywhere I go. It feels (and looks) a bit "wild" but is quite functional. I finally have a real reason to carry a pocket knife around now too. ;-)...

True Hunger »

In Eat to Live, there was a section that talked about "True Hunger". Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.Once your body gets to a certain level of better health, you begin to feel the difference between true hunger and just eating due to desire, appetite, or withdrawal symptoms. Your body is healthier at this stage and you won't experience the withdrawal symptoms such as weakness, headaches, lightheadedness, etc., that most people associate with hunger.(You can read more of the section here.) Words like "true" scare me so I wanted to wait a bit before I shared my thoughts on...

ETL Diet Update »

I wrote a longish update on my diet. The one line summary is that I'm excited and enjoying it. If you are interested read the rest of this post....

Free... as in beer »

GNU Free Software DefinitionThe Free Software Definition [...] "Free software" is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of "free" as in "free speech", not as in "free beer".Actually... Free as in beer.Vores ØlHow can beer be open source? The recipe and the whole brand of Our Beer is published under a Creative Commons license, which basically means that anyone can use our recipe to brew the beer or to create a derivative of our recipe. You are free to earn money from Our Beer, but you have to publish the recipe under the...

Nukamiso redux »

Nukazuke is a type of Japanese traditional pickling that requires a special kind of mash that is made from rice husks and a number of other ingredients. This mash is called nukamiso. Some nukamiso is very old and it requires a special touch and constant mixing to maintain the special flavor. Vegetables are typically stuck in the nukamiso overnight or for the day. I wrote a Nukamiso guide was which I last updated in April 1999. Since then, I have moved twice and in the process, killed my poor nukamiso. My original nukamiso seeded from three 50 year old nukamiso's...

Takenoko »

We spent the day yesterday waiting for email to import and hunting for, digging up, preparing and cooking takenoko (bamboo shoots). It's nearing the end of the season, but there were still enough in our backyard for a few meals worth. Last year I blogged a longer entry about the process. This year I focused on the photos. We also used a slightly different recipe and did it without relying on our neighbors. I've posted the pictures as a flickr photo set.Technorati Tags: food, japanese_culture...

Baqu »

Today's fishThis is chef Nobuhiro Okano, the chef at Baqu. Baqu is a Japanese / French fusion restaurant around the corner from the Technorati Japan offices near Yoyogi. Last order is 1AM so I often find myself there with the team after late meetings. Knowing that we'll end up at Baqu helps me get through some of the meetings. Chef Okano always shows us his daily catch and is quite a performer customizing and whipping things up to suit his customer's needs like a good DJ would. The restaurant doesn't have a sign and is a bit hard to find,...

Geeky cooking »

Cook's Illustrated is by far my favorite recipe database with their extremely extensive and geeky/scientific approach to cooking. O'Reilly has now launched Gastronomy for Geeks. It's like a competition of cooks trying to be geeks and geeks trying to be cooks. Which reminds me... I need to go cook some lunch....

C'est moi qui l'ai fait ! »

Pascale Weeks joined us for dinner last night. She has a French language blog called "C'est moi qui l'ai fait !". She blogs about her cooking with wonderful pictures, recipes and a very down-to-earth style. It's great seeing people like Pascale who are extremely passionate about blogging who also possess the ability to create a lot of great original content. I only wish someone would translate her blog to English... or maybe I should just learn French. One thing for sure though... if you like talking about food, clearly you must learn French. The food was amazing and the discussions...

Slow Food »

A few of us had dinner with Mike Tommasi from Slow Food France. Slow Food (as opposed to fast food) is a semi-political movement originating in a protest against the entry of McDonald's into Italy and formally becoming an organization in Paris. They focus on a variety of gastronomy issues. They care about the impact of industrialization of food on farmers, diversity, cataloging endangered food, teaching children about food, finding produce that can be brought back or preserved and help create new markets and for slow food. They have successfully found a variety of slow foods including cheeses and meats...

Turkey tips »

If you're cooking Turkey today. Please make sure you read my post from 2002 on cooking Turkey. I'll be in Paris, but Happy Thanksgiving to all you Americans!...

Don't eat cheap sushi »

Gen says, "Don't eat cheap sushi". I agree. I had never heard about the carbon monoxide process before, but it make me not want to eat cheap sushi even more. On the other hand, I guess some places could start raising prices and still serve crap....

La Claustra »

Our host Jean OdermattAs usual the etoy.AGENTS arranged an interesting excursion this year. This year, we tried to go to La Claustra in Andermatt. (Check out the video on their site. It's the last link on the left.) Unfortunately, there was 8 meters of snow at La Claustra with avalanche warnings so we couldn't go. We stayed at a nice chalet in Andermatt instead. La Claustra is this amazing project that Jean Odermatt just completed. He purchased an old Swiss Army base built into the mountains of Gotthard. Inside of these caves, he built an extremely modern hotel and meeting...

Preparing takenoko »

Takenoko are bamboo shoots. We're in takenoko season right now. You take a special hoe and walk around in a bamboo forest until you step on the tip of the takenoko. The best and most tender takenoko are the ones that are barely visible. As they grow larger, they become tougher. You have to then dig around the takenoko, find where it attaches to the root network and chop it at the right angle to get it to come off easily. Then you shuck them. After shucking, a very important step is the aku nuki. Many vegetables, particularly takenoko...

Japan officially bans imports over U.S. mad cow disease case »

japantodayJapan officially bans imports over U.S. mad cow disease case TOKYO — The health ministry officially banned imports of U.S. beef and beef-processed products Friday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Thursday that a British laboratory confirmed initial U.S. test results indicating the first U.S. case of mad cow disease. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare notified the quarantine stations across Japan of the decision. On Wednesday, Tokyo halted imports of beef products after the USDA revealed the discovery of the case in Washington State. (Kyodo News)I remember when Japan was first warned that we may have a...

Stories from Christmas past and brining your turkey »

Justin's post from his Christmas in Japan last year describes the Japanese Christmas experience well. Here is my entry about brining, which is the key to the turkey he talks about. As I was opining to MG the other day, it's all in the bringing. MUST brine the turkey. Innovations in cooking are much more interesting than any of this social software stuff. {{gobble}} {{gobble}}...

Commons Dinner »

From left to right: Mary holding "Tetris", Brewster holding still shrinkwrapped copy of "Visicalc", Larry, Bettina, me and GlennHad dinner with Brewster and Mary, Larry, Bettina and Glenn at the Foreign Cinema. First time at the Foreign Cinema. Cool place with good food. Nice open feeling, loved the wide selection of oysters. Also, both dinners so far this trip were organized using OpenTable.com which I saw for this first time.Brewster arrived with a box full of very old software. He had just finished testifying about why DMCA was preventing him from breaking copy protection on old software that he wanted to archive. The DMCA affects our lives in lots of ways and we need more people like Brewster to point out the stupidity of such laws trying to prevent legitimate activities for the sake of protecting the position of a few big media companies. What's scary for me is that Japan is trying to put together their own DMCA in a "me too" kind of stupid way. The problem is, we don't have people like Larry and Brewster in Japan and I can only image how much work it's going to be to fight it there.Met Glenn, the Executive Director of the Creative Commons for the first time today. Enjoyed our conversation very much. He was supportive of my position on the guarantee issue with regards to the CC license. (I guess he should be.) He told me that Glocom, where I recently gave a talk on Emergent Democracy, was working on localizing Creative Commons for Japan. That's GREAT! I was worried that the Japanese would end up continuing to with that "Free use label" for webcontent stuff that the Ministry of Culture was doing.Talked about the idea of using the Creative Commons Conservancy in the standardization process where it might act as a repository for assets like domain names. I had talked about this with Robert Kaye and Musicbrainz. I'll write another entry about this idea after I flesh it out a bit more, but I'm pretty excited about it.Talked a lot about how smart Aaron Swartz was.I wish my jet lag would go away so my brain cells didn't start to check out at the end of these dinners. Maybe I should stop drinking when I travel. Hmm...One more thing: We talked about Larry's push to get a bill passed to have a $1 fee to keep a copyright 50 years after publication. This put put A LOT of stuff into the public domain and is very hard to argue against and seems extremely practical... you would think. Well, it's harder than it looks. He needs our help.

Dinner with Takeshi Niinami, President of Lawson »

Had dinner last night with Takeshi Niinami. We ate at Okame, one of my favorite little Tempura shops in Tsukiji. We met for the first time last year at the New Business Forum Conference that I chaired and agreed to have dinner sometime. It took us 5 months to have dinner. ;-p It was worth it though. Mr. Niinami was interesting and gives me hope that our generation is taking over Japan. ;-)

Japanese Suppon Snapping Turtle at Daiichi »

Mizuka and I went to Daiichi, my favorite restaurant to eat Japanese snapping turtle, or suppon. I've written about Daiichi before here. So I'll focus on photos for this entry...Here is a 176K MPEG movie of the boiling stew...

DJ'ing at Moda in Harajuku this Wed from 8pm »

My old buddy Tomo from Jr. High (we used to throw parties together in Jr. High) runs a bar in Harajuku called Moda. I haven't DJ'ed for awhile, but I've decided to try messing around a bit. I'm going to be DJ'ing from 8pm until around 10pm this coming Wednesday so drop by if you want to hang out and see me try to DJ. There's no cover charge. He has a web page.

Dinner at G-Zone with Hasegawa-san »

Hasegawa-san, the CEO of Global Dining, at the La Boheme barHad dinner last night at G-Zone Ginza Global Dining's new restaurant complex in Ginza. It's a HUGE space with a Gonpachi, a Zest, a Monsoon, and a La Boheme, all Global Dining restaurants.

Daiichi, my favorite restaurant in the whole wide world »

The steaming suppon potThe okogeToday, we had lunch at Daiichi. It is my favorite restaurant. I first went to Daiichi with Shigeaki Saigusa, Ryo Hato and Hiroshi Yanai. Since then, Mizuka and I make it a point to go whenever we are in Kyoto. Daiichi is a suppon restaurant. Suppon is a kind of soft-shelled snapping turtle. There is no menu. The meal starts out with suppon blood (optional), pieces of suppon chilled, then the main course. The main course is suppon chopped up and stewed in a very heavy clay pot with sake and soy sauce. The chopped suppon is very gelatinous and tastes kind of like a cross between fish and chicken. You add hot sake to the amazing soup and drink it in a cup.The pot is a special pot that requires extremely high temperatures to heat. These high temperatures can only be achieved using special coal which new restaurants are not approved to use. Once heated, the pot retains the boiling hot temperature for the duration of the course. They use sake instead of water and this sake is essential. During the war and in post-war Japan, sake was not available so you had to buy a bottle of sake on the black market and bring it with you in order to be served.After the suppon stew comes the ozoni. The ozoni is prepared by putting rice in the pot with the soup, breaking a few eggs and stirring. After the first servings are removed from the pot, there is a little left on the bottom. This heats and gets crispy and brown. This crispy rice/egg stuff is very good and is called okoge. You have to be very careful when scraping the okoge from the pot. The pot is fragile and VERY old. If you break a pot they get VERY mad. If you ever break two, you are banned from the restaurant.I think it must have something to do with the pot, but the suppon at Daiichi is superior to any other suppon I have ever had and it is consistently great.

Dinner at Gonpachi »

That's Yanai-san on the left and Hasegawa-san on the right

Peking Duck and Shanghai Crab »

All of the pictures of Shanghai Crab that I could find that were good were on people's diary's and I felt guilty "fair using" them so I decided to grab this kind of ad-like one from http://www.sannmei.co.jp/. I should have taken my camera...Today Mizuka and I had Peking Duck and Shanghai Crab for lunch. On the last trip to Beijing, Mizuka had Peking Duck and Shanghai Crab with Yanai-san. She discovered that in Beijing, they put minced garlic in the Peking Duck and it tasted great. Today, we asked for minced garlic in our Peking Duck and it did indeed...

Moda »

Dropped by Moda with Mizuka last night. Moda is a bar run by my Jr. high and high school classmate Tomo. We used to run the Nishimachi yearbook dark room together and also used to throw the school dance parties together. We're both still into photography, but Tomo has made a career out of throwing parties. ;-) Tomo had redesigned the place and installed a dart board with an electronic scoring system. He also hired two guys and one of them cooks, so they serve food now. It's a cool place to hang out if you are in Harajuku....

Traditional American Lasagne »

There is something special about good old American Lasagne done well. I personally like it better than traditional Italian Lasagne. Recently, I've been using a ragu sauce taken from the Harry's Bar Cookbook (thanks to Christine Schoepf of Ars Electronica for recommending this great book to me!) with a more traditional American Lasagne recipe. The ragu may be a little to... "fancy" tasting for the lasagne, but I'm not sure. I'm going to try to modify the sause a bit in the future... But below is my "current recipe" for my favorite lasagne. (If you like the Ragu, by the...
Whiplash by Joi Ito and Jeff Howe

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