Two chefs who lead “USEUM SAGA”Two chefs who lead “USEUM SAGA”



"USEUM SAGA" is back in Saga


A special event will be held where star chefs will serve the “classic” of Saga ingredients in museum-class vessels.

In a little while, the door to a new daily life will open.---.

The daily life of the food and beverage industry is still tough, but it feels like we are starting to see signs of a revival little by little.arita huisA food event was held at ``. "USEUM SAGAThis event, titled ``, was actually built on the deep connection between the land of Saga Prefecture and gastronomy.2018After being held several times a year, this time's event3This is the first time in a year.

aritahuis aritahuis

"USEUM SAGA 2021”, which was the stage for “arita huis”. Located in a corner of Arita Sera, where Arita ware shops are lined up, delicious food is served in a variety of Arita ware dishes day and night in a modern space.

Saga's gourmet food and utensils. A gastronomic culture that shines with its own charm


The bond between Saga Prefecture and gastronomy is deep. As is well known, this prefecture has long been home to many of the country's most representative pottery cultures, such as Arita ware, Imari ware, and Karatsu ware.Furthermore, from seafood to mountain produce, it is hard to find anything that is not delicious. Gourmet kingdom. It's not just that it tastes good; it's been a standard for Saga residents since ancient times to cook without sacrificing the quality of the ingredients and serve them in beautiful bowls that tell a story. It is not unnatural that Saga Prefecture has begun to be conscious of its connection with gastronomy, not only in Japan but also in the world.

2015In 2017, a premium outdoor restaurant event "Dining Out" was held in Arita, and at the time in Singapore "Restaurant AndreTop chef Andre Chung, who was in charge of ``, came to Japan and showed off his skills.2016Arita ware was born in .400To commemorate 2019, top chefs from Japan and abroad will gather together at the World Culinary Arts Conference. in ARITA” will be held. In the same year, ``USEUM ARITA'' was held, a restaurant event where you could enjoy meals using dishes that looked like they would be displayed in a museum.2018In the year “USEUM SAGAIt was revived with a new name, and star chefs from overseas and Japan served dishes on Saga Prefecture's famous dishes, much to the excitement of the participants.


Moreover2020Years3It was scheduled to be held for the first time in Japan in February.Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2020(onwardsAB50)", and prior to this, "SSaga Prefecture was also scheduled to hold a Gastronomy Conference. Due to the global outbreak of the new coronavirus infection,AB50When"SUnfortunately, the ``Gastronomy Conference'' was canceled at the last minute, but there is still a deep understanding and passion for gastronomy in this area that rivals any in the Tokyo metropolitan area or regional metropolises.


Squid tip/Japanese yam/fromage blanc Squid tip/Japanese yam/fromage blanc

Cold appetizer. ``Sword-tipped squid/wild yam/fromage blanc'' by chef Meguro. Squid marinated in kelp oil is garnished with pickled wild yam, white wood ears, white corn, white celery, etc., and decorated with white edible flowers. Finish by sprinkling with Nakashima Farm's Fromage Blanc ice powder. "1616 / Arita japanCoupled with the matte white plate of ``, a quiet white world expressing the color of Arita's soil was completed.

Once again in Saga Prefecture,USEUM SAGA' is back. The concept remains the same as before, ``Using Saga Prefecture's proud museum-class masterpieces and modern contemporary vessels.''USE), providing exquisite cuisine prepared by star chefs," and this time we will take on this heavy responsibility at the venue, "arita huis” Chef Ryusei Masunaga and French restaurant “abyss” chef Kotaro Meguro will be in charge.23Chef Masunaga, who is 20 years old, has been aiming to become a Meguro chef with a gaze of respect and admiration.36It is said that this was made possible by appointing a senior citizen.


Collaborative dining by two chefs7Month3Day and7Month4Of the day2Days, day and night totals3held twice, and thereafter7Specialized dishes by Chef Masunaga will be offered only on the weekends of the month.7Moon'sarita huis”, which had tended to be quiet due to the coronavirus pandemic.1It's so lively that it seems like the past year and a half has been wiped out.

Chef Kotaro Meguro and Chef Ryusei Masunaga. Chef Kotaro Meguro and Chef Ryusei Masunaga.

Chef Kotaro Meguro (left) and Chef Ryusei Masunaga (right) held several meetings and continued to communicate via email every day in the month and a half since the event was decided.

"USEUM SAGA” is a place for learning and passing on food.


Although it is my personal impression, the former "USEUM SAGA” seemed more like a ``dream competition between star chefs.'' However, this time I feel something like a breath of new life. Youth? Of course it is.36Chef Kotaro Meguro, who just turned 20 years old, is a hot topic in the industry for his excellent cooking and restaurant management, but he says, ``I've always wanted to..."Young"I was often referred to as30I'm in my mid-teens. The next generation is now growing up, and I felt that by interacting with these young chefs, I might also be able to learn something." This is Chef Masunaga's first time competing with Chef Meguro, who still has a sense of innocence. Before the event, he went to Tokyo once and tasted Chef Meguro's ``current cuisine'' and was very impressed, and during the event, he kept an eye on the star chef's every move, which was impressive. Yes, this is an ``event for learning and passing down food.''

Takezaki crab and Karatsu lemon Takezaki crab and Karatsu lemon

Chef Masunaga's amuse "Takezaki crab and Karatsu lemon". Steamed Takezaki crab, white sauce made from turnips, and mozzarella cheese are wrapped in Neapolitan pizza dough and fried. Place it on Karatsu lemon leaves and drizzle with a slightly ethnic flavored sauce. It had an impressive flavor with a hint of tropical brightness. The white plate placed underneath belonged to Living National Treasure Manji Inoue.

Kohada, fermented tomatoes, spinach Kohada, fermented tomatoes, spinach

Meguro chef's cold appetizer "Kohada, fermented tomato, spinach". This time, Chef Meguro, who has opened his eyes to the true value of Kohada from Saga Prefecture, puts all his effort into this dish. Finish the cod with a mixture of red vinegar and fermented tomato soup and place on a plate with spinach puree. A variety of vegetables and herbs were used to create a refreshing feeling. The combined white wine is ``Domaine Courbet” Savagnin2017.

There is another thing that struck me. It wasn't just Chef Meguro, who competed for the first time in a situation where "almost all ingredients were from Saga," but also Chef Masunaga, who was born and raised in Saga City, as well as the many food producers who provided ingredients for this event. By interacting with them before and after the event, they realized various things.


Chef Meguro says that he was very satisfied with the cold tuna appetizer that he served at the beginning of this episode, but he also says, ``The cold tuna appetizer that was served in the Tokyo market was very satisfying.40% is from Saga Prefecture. [abyss] is a restaurant that mainly serves seafood, so I often visit sushi restaurants to learn how to handle seafood, but Kohada is a difficult ingredient. The skill of the chef really shines through. This Kohada I'm using today is literally the best quality. and2I don't think I would have been able to cook as well as I did a few years ago. This was a rewarding experience in many ways."


3After the collaboration dining session ended, the producers who had actually provided their own ingredients gathered together for a social gathering with the chefs, where they were able to enjoy dishes prepared using familiar ingredients using new and innovative approaches. The producers who sampled it seemed to be shocked by both its visuals and taste. Everyone present was astonished by the realization that ``the potential of Saga Prefecture's ingredients is still unknown.''

How Kohada food is presented How Kohada food is presented

When preparing Kohada's dishes, a ``turntable'' used in the production of Arita ware was used to first place the puree on a plate.

Saga prefecture pottery Saga prefecture pottery

All the pottery used was from Saga Prefecture, and the photo is from Toetsu Kiln. Some include Inoue Manji kiln and14There are also living national treasure vessels such as Daiimaizumi Imaemon, and these can be purchased from the museum in advance.arita huis” was carefully transported to.

"abysse" sommelier, Seki Hikino "abysse" sommelier, Seki Hikino

He created exquisite pairings with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic dishes and received rave reviews from visitors.abyss” sommelier, Seki Takeno (right). They use a lot of tea from Ureshino, and Hitoshi Soejima (left) of Soejimaen, a tea leaf producer, came to support them.

More than just a gastronomic experience. Thoughts on gastronomy from Saga


"USEUM SAGA” is the first gastronomy event to be held in Saga Prefecture in a long time, and many foodies are paying attention. Saga Prefecture Governor Yoshiyoshi Yamaguchi, who visited the venue on the first day of the collaboration dining, said, ``From now on, Saga Prefecture will make a concerted effort to support chefs.By doing so, we will create a city of gourmet food that attracts attention from around the world.'' "I pledge to grow as a part of Saga Prefecture," he said in his speech. It was exciting the media.


Also,"Asia's 50 Best RestaurantsTakanori Nakamura, chairman of the Japan Council for ``, also participated in the opening night session. “Last year, we were looking forward to the event in Saga Prefecture with great enthusiasm.AB50We are very saddened that the event was canceled at the last minute. However, today I saw that I have the opportunity and ability to make up for it in the future.''


It feels like we've spent a long time anxiously waiting, wondering when the new normal will come, but the world of food is steadily moving forward despite this. What's more, this progress is supported by young energy, strong producers, and people who create things that strive to prevent the extinction of beautiful things, giving us a warm feeling that ``maybe we can have high hopes for the future.'' Let me hold you.


The best we can do as food lovers is to make an effort to learn about the existence of people who continue to walk without giving up, and to actively travel to see and taste the fruit of their efforts. is not it.


I feel that my short time in Arita, Saga Prefecture, gave me more than just a gastronomic experience. Thank you.

Collaboration dining staff Collaboration dining staff

Chef Kotaro Meguro (back row left), Chef Ryusei Masunaga (back row left)2The kitchen staff for this collaboration dining is mainly composed of Almost everyone20It was a very fresh team with female staff playing an active role.


Special Weekends:~7/25Friday, Saturday and Sunday of9Held only for days,arita huis” Special menu by Chef Ryusei Masunaga. By appointment only. Detail is 

*4 Hands CollaborationIt is,7/3,7/4 Of2It was held for several days and has already ended.

Text by Mayuko Yamaguchi
Photography by Kan Kanbayashi

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