U.S. Rice and Wine in Japan – A Winning Combination

Master at work
Aug 13, 2015
TOKYO, JAPAN – Last week, USA Rice conducted the final competition at the 3rd annual U.S. Medium Grain Recipe Contest where eight professional chefs, selected out of 166 entrants, were vying to create the best dish pairing U.S.-grown medium grain rice with wine.

First prize was awarded to Mr. Yo Ko of the Conrad Tokyo China Blue for his "Five Kinds of Dim Sum.”  Dim Sum are small dumplings that can be steamed or fried, and Chef Ko’s entry was enhanced with special sauces using sweet wine for the steamed dumplings and dry wine for the fried.  Second place was a tie between a red wine and rice terrine appetizer, and a risotto baked in a waffle maker.

Bill Farmer, USA Rice director of Asia programs, and Rachael Nelson, director of the U.S. Embassy Agricultural Trade Office here, were on hand to present Chef Ko with the 300,000 yen ($2,500) grand prize, and the 50,000 yen ($400) prizes awarded to the two second place winners.

“Through contests and activities like this we familiarize professional chefs with the attributes of U.S. medium grain rice,” said Farmer.  “It’s impressive to watch them create menus on-the-spot that will appeal to our target consumer audience in Japan.”