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Four Seasons Hong Kong hosts an unusual culinarian

Shojin chef at work

Do many chefs talk to their vegetables?  That is what Toshio Tanahashi does as part of his shojin ryori, Buddhist Temple cuisine – and he will show what it is all about when he guest-chefs at the luxury Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong November 20-22 2017. Speciality dishes include agemono and yakimono, with croquette of lily bulbs and truffle and spring rolls of purple potatoes and grapes.  Tanahashi-san was in the corporate world until, at the age of 27, he joined a temple near Kyoto to undertake a three-year shojin apprenticeship, after which he opened Gesshinkyo restaurant in Tokyo. What can be called meditative cooking will see guests at his Hong Kong dinners helping hand-grind sesame seeds and they will learn the cuisine’s philosophy – and watch him talking to the vegetables which they will subsequently be served as part of a seven-course vegetarian dinner.