THE MAGIC OF A DISH: New York Top Chef Goes to Japan

Episode 3: Ultimate

Acclaimed NY chef David Bouley has delighted celebrities with his innovative French cuisine spiced with "Bouley Magic." But to everyone's surprise, Bouley, now in his 60's, has closed his flagship restaurant to set out on a journey of training. He's headed for Japan in search of the finest health food. We follow him as he studies the art of traditional fermented foods across Japan that inspire the creation of his ultimate dish.
Bouley travels across Japan to learn about the traditional foods of various regions; the "tofu-yo" in Okinawa Prefecture made by pickling tofu in red malted rice and Awamori (strong Okinawa liquor), salted mackerels in Fukui Prefecture called "heshiko" that are pickled in rice bran, and Toyama Prefecture's Koji (malted rice) used for preparing miso. In the northern island of Hokkaido Prefecture, he meets craftsmen who share their knowledge of producing kelp to make the tastiest stock and of the technique of Ikejime (a way to kill the fish without stressing it). Here, he happens to encounter the great earthquake. Bouley encourages the people affected by the disaster with his magical food. Returning to NY, he heads straight to his kitchen to work on new recipes. Exploring the knowledge and skills he learned in Japan, he creates dish after dish of exciting and innovative food. In the hope of leading people to healthier food, what does the gifted chef create as the ultimate dish?

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