Cultivated Days | The story of food
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The story of food

Well, hello! It has been a while, hasn’t it? A year in fact. A busy year. But you wouldn’t know it. Never in the history of Cultivated Days have I written so much and published so little. Over the past year I’ve been hard at work on three very exciting projects, and I’m ready to tell you about one of them!

I write for you, an English speaking audience, in hopes that I can elucidate things hard to know outside of Japan and eventually lure you to travel and eat in situ. The food culture of Japan is hard to translate, even harder to transport. The restaurants that have opened in increasing numbers in metropolitan hubs around the world have served and valuable ambassadors, introducing a Western palate to Japanese tastes. But as with any articulation of culture, nothing can replicate or replace context. Food is so intimately tied to place. To eat Japanese food in Japan is to experience its fullest expression. And though it has a lot to do with proximity of ingredients, knowledge in the kitchen, and the demand of discerning clients, there is also something less tangible and more influential, the air and light, the landscape and language. To spend all day immersed in these sensory markers that speak more to the spirit than to the intellect provides a holistic experience and renders meals so much more flavorful and memorable.

And so, while it is not within everyone’s means, I encourage those who are intrigued by Japanese food to eat as much of it as possible in Japan and experience the culinary tradition in its native context. And to this end, it has long been a dream of mine to offer programs in Japan that illuminate the cultural pathways that lead from seed to plate. And by plate I mean both the food at the table and the vessel on which it’s served, because so often in Japan food and vessels share the spotlight at the table. And it gives me great pleasure to announce that this dream is coming to fruition.

I have partnered with Ace Camps, based out of Whistler, British Columbia in Canada, who collaborate with local hosts in countries all over the world to offer travel programs focused on experiential learning. In early November of 2019 I will host a week long program based in and around Karatsu. Over the course of several days we will begin to understand the story of food and ceramics and culture through visits to sake and soy breweries, cooking classes with local chefs, visits to pottery studios, a day of cooking, plating, and eating together in our home, and outings to learn about the origin of unique ingredients like nori. Through this program you will come to understand a local ecosystem of cultivation, production, and artistry and see how it all comes together at the table.

If you are interested please head over and sign up with Ace Camps. When we have nailed down the final itinerary more detailed information will be sent to you and you will be the first to hear when registration opens.

From the heart of Japan straight to your inbox!
  • Stephanie
    Posted at 18:03h, 07 August

    Wow, this looks amazing! What a great idea.

    • Prairie
      Posted at 18:14h, 07 August

      Thank you Stephanie! A long time in the making~

  • Catherine
    Posted at 19:36h, 07 August

    This sounds amazing–not sure I can swing it this year, so I hope it will be a roaring success and you’ll do it again. I have missed your writing SOOO much!

    • Prairie
      Posted at 20:35h, 07 August

      Thank you Catherine! You are going to get to see a lot of my writing soonish… This program is for 2019, so there is time!

  • Geronte Esteno
    Posted at 20:07h, 07 August

    Really really good work, I’m soo jealous. Any chance the registration is open for people living outside Canada?

    • Prairie
      Posted at 20:34h, 07 August

      The company is based in Canada, but registration is open to anyone, anywhere! That’s why I’m letting you all know about it…

  • Mora Chartrand & Linda Grant
    Posted at 21:19h, 07 August

    So very excited for you!!! We’re ready to receive the updates…signed up today.

    • Prairie
      Posted at 21:32h, 07 August

      Thank you, Mora! You’ll recognize many of the places on the itinerary…

  • Elizabeth Andoh
    Posted at 23:29h, 07 August

    EXCITING! Can’t wait to hear more…

    • Prairie
      Posted at 13:44h, 08 August

      Thank you, Elizabeth! I’ve always wanted to do something like this and it’s exciting to see it coming together~

  • Lari Washburn
    Posted at 10:33h, 09 August

    I’m on the list to get more info! SO excited! John and I are talking about both doing this.

    • Prairie
      Posted at 16:15h, 09 August

      Oh, Lari, that would be AMAZING!!

  • Elizabeth Byrd
    Posted at 13:06h, 22 August

    Your idea is a dream, one that is coming true for you (and me). Whenever, wherever we travel, food and culture is at the center. Farmers’ markets, street markets, local artisans and the hope to be warmly welcomed into a locals’ insight and embrace is exciting and comforting. I look forward to learning more. .
    Best of luck on the other 2 dreams – anxiously awaiting the news!

    • Prairie
      Posted at 18:51h, 23 August

      Elizabeth, Yes, the tastes and culture of food as well as magnificent natural landscapes are my two travel inspirations!