DT detox…

Day 1116:

To detox from all that bad ramen…

DT was in need.

Hate it or love it…

This job is done.

This may be the first time I’ve kanshoku’d DT. haha.

Ramen fix…

Day 1113:

I touched down in Tokyo at night and needed a ramen fix real bad and I found the perfect place.


My favorite mama was on break…

But my favorite ramen was not.

I need to bring a ramen like this to the states.

Now that would be a dream…

Thank you Chicago!…

Day 1112:

Thanks Chicago! See you at next year’s FoodFilmFest!! (hopefully)

They say I’m the first person to eat dinner at both EL Ideas and Next in the same night. (It all still feels like a dream.)

But to follow those dinners with these?

You know, this airplane food actually didn’t taste too bad.

Stopover in Seoul required some Soondubu.

Then some more aiplane food.

What a trip…

Next Restaurant Chicago – 懐石…

Day 1111 part 2:

After EL Ideas there was a special table awaiting us at Next. An incredible end to an unbelievable week. Enjoy!

“Ancient Buddhist monks would place warm stones under their robes to ward off hunger pangs and trick their bodies into thinking they were full. These stones became known as Kaiseki, or ‘bosom stones.’ Later, it became customary to serve a small amount of food prior to tea: rice, soup, & pickles took the edge off strong, bitter matcha tea. Sen no Rikyu gave this cuisine the name Kaiseki in honor of its Buddhist heritage. Over time this has transformed from a pre-tea snack to an elaborate dining experience.

Kaiseki layers the literal, hidden, and subconscious representations of nature and humanity in food in order to transport the diner. These allusions, rooted in tradition, can be as simple as a texture or color, or more complex to evoke memories of a poem, holiday, or moment in history.

This season we seek to honor Kaiseki because it shares the same goal that we celebrate here at Next: an evolved dining experience that takes guests on a journey.

Autumn in Kyoto: the moon viewing, the changing hue of the maple leaves, the last crickets of summer, wind blowing through the river grass… “

corn husk

chestnut, apple, white miso, hay aroma

japanese maple forest

sashimi, shiso, tamari

abalone, cucumber, red sea grapes

anago, maple dashi, shimeji mushroom

matsutake chawanmushu, pine

mackerel, wasabi leaf, cured yolk

hot raw apple

duck, soba, sake caramel, dulse

served in a 250 year old duck

chrysanthemum, eggplant, shiso leaf

kabocha, enoki mushroom, ginger

soup, rice, pickles

above with miso soup

first snowfall

warabi mochi, toasted soy

Kaiseki by Next

Thank you Chicago!!!

EL Ideas Chicago…

Day 1111 part 1:

After an AMAZING night of the wildest of ramen dreams and an UNFORGETTABLE week of fabulous films and fine food, I missed my flight back to Tokyo. Partially on purpose and partially because this guy stole my passport.

Well, actually, there are two reasons I decided to miss my flight and change it at five-thirty in the morning. One, so I could attend the FoodFilmFest VIP dinner hosted by Chef Phil Foss at EL Ideas and Two, umm…I’ll get to the second reason in the Next post.

So we begin, with a genius chef and twenty-two plated canvases.

egg (uni / chawanmushi / roe)

I’ve never been this close to see a true chef define his craft. The art that goes into every plate is mind-blowing and awkwardly arousing. The attention to detail is inspiring.

octopus (kohlrabi / chorizo / potato)

sturgeon (marrow / butternut / grape)

When Rev from BurgerConquest.com says he “hates fish and never eats it” and then pops this marrow-crusted sturgeon into his mouth with a smile, that in itself explains how good it was.

fries and ice cream (potato / leek / vanilla)


wagyu (onion / celery root / scallion)


old fashioned (bourbon / luxardo / chocolate)

Once-in-a-lifetime food film experience!

Thank you George Motz, Seth Unger, Michael McAteer, Chef Phillip Foss, Akiko Moorman, Will Shear, Emma Winter, Nicole Bergman, Fletcher Chenn, Rev. Dave Ciancio, Amy Kantrowitz, Harry Hawk, DJ Keili, Mickey (the pickle guy), Matt Timms, Sun Noodle, Kitchit, Gohan Society, EL Ideas, and the rest of the FoodFilmFest Family!

As for the little guy who stole my passport? We’ll let Chef Phil deal with him.

So what’s next?

To be continued…