Collaboration to develop French recipes(フランス料理開発でコラボ)

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Restaurant chef and owner Kentaro Mori, right, and fisherman Motofumi Kikuchi talk about recipes using local fish and shellfish at Wine Bistro Cote D’or in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture.(相馬の魚介類を使用した料理について話し合う森さん(右)と菊地さん)

 An up-and-coming chef and a fisherman in Soma, a coastal city of Fukushima Prefecture, are joining hands to develop French recipes using locally hauled fish and shellfish, as part of efforts to boost local fisheries that were dealt a great blow in the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
 The pair is trying to create a new charm of the city by doing such creative and ingenious things as presenting new proposals on food materials and the use of rare fish species and disseminating such information in and outside the prefecture. A large-scale food tasting event was held on Aug. 22-24, which the pair hopes will "contribute even a little to the restoration of the city."

 漁業や観光の復興に向け相馬市の若手料理人と漁業者がタッグを組み、地元産魚介類を生かしたフランス料理開発に取り組んでいる。震災で大きな打撃を受けた本県漁業。食材としての新たな提案や希少魚種活用など、創意工夫と発信力で相馬の新たな魅力をつくり出そうとしている。22~24日には大規模な試食会を開いた。「少しでも復興のきっかけになれば」と話す。

 Kentaro Mori, owner of restaurant Wine Bistro Cote D'or, and fisherman Motofumi Kikuchi regularly hold discussions at the restaurant, which serves French and Italian dishes in the city, to develop a new menu of French dishes. They said Soma is a treasure house of fish, adding that it will be possible to present cuisine completely different from that developed up to now and foster it as a brand.

 「相馬は魚の宝庫。これまでと違った食べ方の提案でブランド化できるんじゃないか」。相馬市の市街地でフランス料理やイタリア料理を扱う「ワインビストロ コートドール」店内で、店主の森健太郎さん(41)と漁師の菊地基文さん(41)がメニュー開発へ打ち合わせを重ねる。

 After opening the restaurant in April last year, Mori, 41, soon started developing a menu of dishes utilizing local products. He was inspired by Kikuchi, 42, who has been at the front of the efforts of young local fishermen. Based on the data of fish unloaded in different seasons at a port in Soma-Haragama district, the pair has been promoting the development of a menu.

 森さんは昨年4月に店を開いた後、程なく地元産品を生かしたメニュー開発を始めた。きっかけは、若手漁師の先頭で奮闘する菊地さんとの出会いだった。相馬原釜の港で季節ごとに揚がる魚のデータを参考に、メニューなどの検討を進めてきた。

 Roughscale sole, or same garei, does not look good but its taste has a high reputation, and budo ebi shrimp has a high value for its rarity -- even many local residents are unaware that these marine creatures are unloaded at ports in Soma. "To begin with, we want the local people to recognize this and hopefully the information spread elsewhere," Mori said, looking ahead.

 見た目は良くないが味の評価は高い「サメガレイ」や希少価値の高い「ブドウエビ」。こうした魚が相馬の港で揚がることを、地元でも知らない人は多い。森さんは「まずは地元の人に知ってもらうこと。そこから広がっていくはず」と前を見据える。

 At the Soma-Futaba Fishery Cooperative Association, a project has been undertaken since the 2011 disaster primarily by young fishermen to enhance the added value of fish. Shinkei-jime, or making the fish braindead, is one of the techniques to keep the meat of fish fresh for a long time. The number of fishermen who learn about this technique has been increasing gradually, a fact reflecting their sense of crisis over the reconstruction of fisheries.

 一方で震災後、相馬双葉漁協では、若手漁師を中心に魚の付加価値を高める取り組みが進んできた。魚の鮮度を長持ちさせるために行う「神経締め」の技術はその一つ。じわじわと学ぶ漁師が増えたのは、漁業復興への危機感からだ。

 "We have clung to the reputation of the Joban brand [given to fishery products unloaded at ports south of Fukushima Prefecture], but we shouldn't be satisfied just with that," Kikuchi said. He is trying to find a way of conducting fishery business that will outdo what was adopted until the 2011 disaster by distributing fish of higher quality. The development of a menu of French dishes he has been pushing ahead with Mori is one of such initiatives.
 Kikuchi pins his hopes on local rejuvenation, saying, "By collaborating with such a hard-working chef [as Mori] to disseminate information on local attractions, I believe Soma will absolutely become an interesting place."

 「これまでは常磐ものというブランドにぶら下がってきた。それだけでは駄目」と菊地さん。魚をより高い品質で流通させることで、震災前を超える漁業の形を見いだそうとしている。森さんと進めるフランス料理開発もその取り組みの一手だ。「頑張っている料理人と手を組み発信できれば、絶対面白い地域になる」と期待を寄せる。

 If dishes using local food materials prevail, it will become an incentive to encourage tourism, too. Mori and Kikuchi said that, above all else, the local residents will become able to take pride in their community, and they would like to see this initiative gradually expand.

( Translated by The Japan News )

 地元食材を使った料理が広まれば観光の呼び水にもなる。「何より地元の人が地域に誇りを持てるようになるはず。徐々に広がりをつくっていきたい」。森さんと菊地さんは声をそろえる。

 【 2018年8月18日付・福島民友新聞掲載 】