Chef Daisuke Itagaki: Showcasing the Best of Japanese Cuisine at Dish Fest

Learn about Chef Daisuke Itagaki, executive chef of Shimogamo, and his favorite dishes that will be showcased at Dish Fest, highlighting the best of Japanese cuisine and supporting Japanese producers.

Chef Daisuke Itagaki: Showcasing the Best of Japanese Cuisine at Dish Fest

Chef Daisuke Itagaki: Showcasing the Best of Japanese Cuisine at Dish Fest - 1216355516

( Credit to: Phoenixmag )

As Dish Fest approaches, we have the privilege of delving into the stories behind the Best Dishes being served at the highly anticipated food festival. Today, we have the pleasure of introducing Chef Daisuke Itagaki, the executive chef and co-owner of Shimogamo, Chandler's esteemed Japanese restaurant. Since arriving in the United States in 2019 with his wife Mika Otomo, Chef Itagaki has breathed new life into Shimogamo, updating the menu and décor to create a sophisticated yet comfortable dining experience. Let's discover Chef Itagaki's favorite dishes and his thoughts on Dish Fest.

The Origin Story of the Best Dish

At Dish Fest, Chef Itagaki will be showcasing three exquisite dishes that exemplify Japanese ingredients and techniques. The Kagoshima Wagyu Roll, Crispy Truffle Snow Crab, and Hokkaido Scallops Carpaccio are all featured on the regular menu at both the Chandler and newly opened Gilbert locations. These dishes are designed to captivate global audiences and delight their palates.

Why These Dishes Were Chosen as Best Dish

The decision to present these particular dishes as the Best Dish at Dish Fest was driven by a desire to support Japanese producers who are facing challenges due to trade sanctions imposed by China. By featuring premium ingredients sourced directly from Japan, Chef Itagaki aims to showcase the best of Japanese cuisine while also supporting those who cultivate its ingredients.

A Cherished Food Memory

Chef Itagaki fondly recalls the tradition of gathering around a communal pot for meals, a common practice in Japanese households. Sukiyaki, a celebratory dish, holds a special place in his heart. On these occasions, his father would take on the role of chef, even though he rarely cooked for the family. While his father's sukiyaki was often overly sweet due to a heavy hand with sugar, it became a source of joy and playful clashes in the kitchen as Chef Itagaki pursued his own culinary career. This memory reminds him of the joy found in sharing food and memories with loved ones.

Admiration for Fellow Chefs

Chef Claude Le Tohic, formerly of Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand and currently at the Michelin-starred restaurant ONE65 in San Francisco, is a chef that Chef Itagaki deeply admires. Witnessing Chef Claude's enduring passion, relentless pursuit of perfection, and unwavering humility during their collaboration in Tokyo left a lasting impression. Chef Itagaki draws inspiration from Chef Claude's dedication to his craft, emphasizing the importance of continual growth and humility in the culinary world.

Chef Marc Zimmerman of GOZU in San Francisco is another chef deserving of admiration. Their collaboration in opening Alexander's Steakhouse in Tokyo led them on a journey across Japan in search of the finest Wagyu producers. Chef Zimmerman's open-mindedness and willingness to explore new culinary frontiers and embrace diverse culinary traditions exemplify the spirit of culinary innovation and collaboration.

Looking Forward to Dish Fest

For Chef Itagaki and Shimogamo, Dish Fest marks their debut as vendors at a food event in Arizona, and they couldn't be more excited. Having witnessed significant changes in the culinary landscape since their move from Tokyo five years ago, they are thrilled to announce the opening of their second location in Gilbert. Chef Itagaki is eager to connect with food enthusiasts who are ready to explore new culinary horizons and experience the diverse flavor profiles that Shimogamo has to offer.

In Conclusion

Chef Daisuke Itagaki's dedication to showcasing the best of Japanese cuisine, supporting Japanese producers, and his passion for culinary excellence make him a standout chef in the industry. At Dish Fest, attendees will have the opportunity to savor the extraordinary dishes that reflect Chef Itagaki's culinary expertise and his commitment to creating memorable dining experiences.

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