A Tokyo native, a New York transplant, Tomoko Imade Dyen started cooking at her grandparents’ hotel kitchen when she was 7. She loves food and information, so it was natural choice for her to work as a TV director. She has been covering food trends before it was a cool things to do. After producing 50 documentaries and won a couple of awards, and a brief year of raising money for films, she has returned to her true passion: food. From handling ramen PR to writing about the uni trend in the United States, Tomoko is busy with shooting videos, taking photos, writing, pitching new ideas, cooking and eating… all things food! She’s aspiring to be a Japanese culinary ambassador.
Please share an off-menu family recipe (or description) or a personal intergenerational food story
My father was the typical Japanese businessman; never ate weekday dinner with us, golfed on the weekend and left home before I woke up. One thing I remember about him is asking my mother to make ochazuke in the middle of the night. Ochazuke is a simple light dish: a bowl of rice with a few savory ingredients on it, then hot tea or dashi broth poured over… kind of like cereal with milk, but instead of cereal, it’s rice, and in the place of milk, there’s tea or dashi broth. To honor my parents… my mother, who made all food she didn’t want to eat (she hates rice…imagine that, a Japanese mom prefers peanut butter over rice), and my late father who liked to eat everything delicious, I’m making rice ball ochazuke.
What do you think of the Asian food moment right now?
As an immigrant, being a part of celebration of Asian food in America and presenting everyday Japanese food is such an honor and a privilege.
Catch Tomoko with Mama Musubi at our Los Angeles #LUCKYRICE18 “Breaking Bao Intergenerational Feast” on July 26th.