“Approach to Food Safety at Happo-en.” Interview with Top Chef Mr. Kouyama
From this issue, I would like to introduce you to the events at Happo-en through interviews. Our first theme is “Our approach to Food Safety at Happo-en.”
I interviewed Mr. Kouyama, who is the top chef of Japanese cuisine at Happo-en.
― How do you handle food-related requests from all around the world?
Food is one of the main factors for a satisfactory business event. Previously, we served special dishes to guests with food allergies or restrictions due to religion. Nowadays, however, we design our menu to eliminate the 7 most common food allergens (eggs, milk, wheat, shrimp, crab, soba and peanuts). Also, we listed that information on our menus with a pictogram.
― If none of the foods contain those 7 common food allergens, then all attendees can eat the same dishes, can’t they?
If all guests can eat the same thing, it builds a stronger connection between then them and helps the success of the events. To tell you the truth, it can be very difficult to eliminate 100% of those allergens if the food is prepared in the same kitchen, using the same kitchenware as other foods.
― Hoe do you inform people at a buffet party about the ingredients of your dishes?
Not only allergens, but it can also be difficult to tell if foods contain ingredients prohibited by certain religions just by looking at them. Therefore, we use illustrations that can be easily understood to inform our guests, and that relieves their stress and allows them to have a good time. We use the same illustrations as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, to help inbounds guests feel stress-free and make good memories in Tokyo.
― It seems difficult to adapt to so many different customs from around the world. Could you tell me about your aims?
I want to make Happo-en a place where the guests can have an Amazing Experience at a traditional and unique venue where they can feel the beauty of Japan.
Through cuisine, I want them to feel the charm of Japanese foods, and make them want to come back. So, I am going to make a bigger efforts than ever.
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