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‘I wish I could dance the way I cook’: Q&A with Izakaya speciality chef Idfan Meirza

By Emma Hodgson | November 14, 2016

chef Idfan Meirza

Izakaya’s speciality chef Idfan Meirza discusses Japanese-Peruvian food fusion and bringing passion into the kitchen.

In your opinion what are the most exciting up and coming trends with Japanese cuisine?

Japanese cuisine is some of the most innovative in the world. Nikkei cuisine (which originated in Peru in 1889 when thousands of Japanese migrants moved to the country) is a blend of Peruvian and Japanese dishes that is already proving popular and could be the next big thing in Dubai.

What’s your personal signature dish?

I have a few but I think the Black Cod Den Miso is the dish I am most well-known for.

Which talent would you most like to have that you don't possess?

I would love to be able to dance the way I cook. Passion is my most useful trait and the key to success. Seeing my guests enjoying my dishes and having a full restaurant with a great atmosphere feeds that passion.

What do home cooks tend to get wrong when making sushi?

The key to a good sushi is using proper utensils and practicing the correct skills. It sounds simple but therein lies the art of sushi-making.

Is there one food that you're secretly obsessed with having at home?

Oxtail Soup… but don’t tell anyone.

What’s your favourite Japanese food to make, and what tips can you give to home cooks wanting to recreate it at home?

Onigiri (Japanese rice balls). You can use cooked salmon, cooked tuna or chili paste for stuffing. Simply delicious.

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