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All Nippon Airways takes winning Japanese dish to 33,000ft

After going head-to-head with six UK chefs, Piero Leone, Head Chef at the Royal Exchange’s Restaurant Sauterelle, has been named the winner of Seven Samurai Chefs, a nationwide challenge run by ANA and the British Hospitality Association (BHA), and judged in part by Japanese chef Yuki Gomi from Yuki’s Kitchen.

Challenged with creating a traditional Japanese donburi* for ANA, Piero’s winning dish, Donburi N7, made the best impression with the airline’s chefs, who judged the final round. Fusing his personal cooking style with traditional techniques and seven ingredients, including calamari, scallops, and prawns seared with a touch of sesame oil and ponzu sauce, the dish is packed with fresh flavours.

Business Class passengers flying with 5-star ailine ANA from 1 December will be able to enjoy it as a light meal. It will appear alongside others created by The CONNOISSEURS, a unique panel of leading culinary experts, including three Michelin star chefs Kunio Tokuoka, Executive Chef of “KYOTO KITCHO” and Toru Okuda owner of “Ginza Okuda”.

Yuki Gomi from Yuki’s Kitchen, also on the judging panel, said: “Piero’s donburi particularly stood out as he utilised the natural UMAMI from seafood – ingredients beloved by Japanese locals. His fusion of Japanese traditional ‘Ochazuke’ (pouring tea, dashi, or hot water over cooked rice) with a Western presentation was exquisite. Seven being a lucky number in Japan is by no means why his Donburi N7 won, but it certainly added a clever touch!”

Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association said: “The competition facilitated an international cultural and gastronomical exchange between Britain and Japan. This ‘spirit of hospitality’ formed the foundation of our competition and the winning dish successfully captures the essence of both countries in a unique way.”