FXcuisine on Japanese TV Home
A TV crew from Tokyo Broadcasting System, one of the largest TV channels in Japan, came to film me for 4 days for George Tokoro's World Delivery, a Sunday afternoon world food show.
On a Friday afternoon my phone rang and rang and rang and finally I was able to pickup, hearing a faint female
voice speaking in English with a fair bit of Japanese accent. She was looking for
some guy named "Fekshwin". I said "Sorry Mam but I don't know anybody named
Fekshwin, sorry I can't help.". But she insisted. "Are you Francois by any chance?", she asked. "The
Francois from Fekhscuizin?".
Ah, right. FXcuisine, not Fekshwin. Yes I am. "We are Japanese TV and read your articles about cheese and were
captivated by how passionate you are. We want to come and film you in your kitchen." Her level of English just
had improved to perfection.
This is a short preview, full video at the bottom of the page.
Then I got an email:
We read your articles, and we’re very touched by your deep love to
artisan cheeses and the recipes of your web site FXcuisine.com are
simply outstanding! Therefore, we want to introduce your knowledge
and love of cheese to Japanese viewers!
It so happens that a couple years earlier I had filmed lots of footage with a hope to make a short documentary
about Swiss food, including tons of never-seen before things about Swiss cheese of all kinds. This is the reason I
was too taken to continue blogging at the same time. Alas the project never left the cutting room. But I was able
to propose the Japanese producers lots of options, with pictures of what it would like and organize 4 days of
shooting in a few hours.
I think they contacted me
because of this article - one of my most popular ever.
It obviously was rather attractive to the Japanese TV company to have me as a kind of überfixer who knows exactly
what they want and what is possible to film where and when.
We exchanged tons of emails every day to discuss each recipe they wanted to film and where. Fortunately they did
not want especially old-fashioned, authentic recipes, nor had they to be only Swiss. The theme of the show was
people passionate with cheese, so finally we filmed 7 of my favorite cheese dishes.
On the film you can get a peek of my kitchen and some of the utensils I use. More about this in a followup article, including lots of behind the scenes pictures and the recipes not shown.
The concept of the show is to ask a team of Japanese to cook one of the dishes seen in the video for people to taste on the set. These things are not left to improvisation so we discussed a lot and they flew back with enough cheese to cook 3 different recipes to keep their options open.
From my limited grasp of Japanese culinary culture (still not so bad for a European) I thought that a kind of
hyper-caloricious "Swiss Tempura" with deep fried cheese, could appeal to the producers who made the final choice
of what recipes we would film and which one would eventually be cooked on the show. It is simple, very tasty, easy
for viewers to understand how it might taste and very close to the ubiquitous japanese tempura.
Before they came I tweaked my recipe to see if modernist research into improved deep-frying batter could help. I
used a half cake flour, half rice flour recipe with a drop of honey for color, beer, baking powder and plum brandy.
This was tested a few times before the TV crew arrived (my liver has yet to recover) to very good effect, a very
crispy exterior with good color. You absolutely need to get the oil to 190C before you start. You can look up
Heston Blumenthal in Search of Perfection on Fish and Chips for the science behind this.
So finally out of the 7 recipes I cooked for them (including one soup from my garden's vegetables) this was the
one they chose! On the film you can see George Tokoro taste a version that was cooked for him in Japan according to
my recipe and the Gruyère we bought in Cave de la Printse. Seems like they liked it! Original article with the
traditional batter here.
This is my photo of our hero shot - one of 5 I had to serve until the cameraman Mr Nakamura was satisfied (I should mention he dutifully ate all the refused Malakoff
before ordering the next one for "another shot please"!).
Here is what the Japanese food stylers cooked back in Tokyo - it looks pretty legit to me!
On the set George Tokoro tastes the Malakoff and says things like "Ah this is so good - I cannot stop eating. I want this to be the
main course of every meal!". The titles say "Sweet and melting cheese, you will be addicted - Malakoff!
Tokoro World Delivery : Swiss Cheese (higher resolution)
"From Switzerland - 30
years of love for cheese - Ultimate cheese cuisine which even melts the King of Cheese".
If you speak Japanese, can you tell me what the people on the set are saying, it appears to be
very funny but I don't understand anything... Also if someone can tell me more about Mr Tokoro, they say he is famous in Japan but all we see here are his wikipedia page.
More in a later article...
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