Ogata: Finding Beauty in Rustic Cuisine


Toshiro Ogata
Photography by Gozen Koshida
Foreword by Ryuichi Sakamoto
In Japanese and English


The art and philosophy of chef Toshiro Ogata, revealed in his own words
At his restaurant tucked away in a picturesque alley in the heart of Kyoto, Toshiro Ogata captivates diners with one-of-a-kind cuisine born of a passionate and untiring inquiry into the essence of seasonal ingredients. In the seven chapters of this book—Water, Soil, Aroma, Heat, Salt, Cuts, Vessels—he reveals the elements forming his philosophy of what he terms the “rustic” in cuisine.


True to this philosophy—which calls for remembering and honoring the origins of food in nature—Ogata’s creations are consummately honed, yet powerfully redolent of soil and sea. Dramatic photographs showcase his artistry as presented on a range of fine vessels, from traditional Japanese Kenzan and Oribe wares to Korean Joseon-dynasty porcelain and Lucie Rie, all curated by the chef himself. Together with the notes on ingredients and procedures, the result is a book that will appeal alike to gourmets and antique art lovers, culinary experts and those simply looking to savor Ogata’s magic.


When I’m working with a particular vegetable, I think about raindrops seeping into the soil nourishing the plants. I picture drops of rain dripping from their leaves . . . These images flood my mind as I work, prompting me to express them in my dishes.

——Toshiro Ogata


Ingredients are created by nature using soil, water, heat, and light. And cuisine is the art of transforming these ingredients through the use of human techniques. Appreciating this process creates tranquility for the soul.

——Ryuichi Sakamoto

Awarded in the Word category of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2018.
Toshiro Ogata was born in 1966 in Hiroshima prefecture. He trained in traditional Japanese cuisine at the historic Hiiragiya inn in Kyoto and served as executive chef for the Wakuden group of fine restaurants, also in Kyoto, before opening his own venue in 2008.


Gozen Koshida, born in 1957 in Tokyo, received the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards Best of the Best 1995–2014 in the category of Art Photography for his book Umashi uruwashi: Kenzan shikisai (Appetizing Beauty: Kenzan and Seasonal Dishes), published by the Miho Museum in 2004.


□ size: 300 × 278 × 31 mm, 1840 g
□ binding: hardcover
□ pages: 168 (118 color photos, 70 b/w photos)
□ release date: August 18, 2017
□ price: 12,000 yen (JPY)
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