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Sakurako Nibe

DATE: 2021/12/19

A cooking class based on the “cycle of vegetable”

From the field to the table and back to the field again. A story of the life of the vegetables

SHUNNO KITCHEN, located in a retro building in Kuramae, Taito-Ku is owned and managed by Sakurako Nibe. Through her catering, food styling services, online store, HUG Ō WäR Jiyugaoka Marche and her cooking classes she conveys the joy and flavors of seasonal ingredients from all four seasons. Since its opening in 2017, her out-of-box thinking, simple cooking methods and chic decoration has become very popular. Among the various cooking classes she holds every season, the “Vegetable Class” that she started in January 2021 has become so popular that reservations fill up immediately. This class is based on the “cycle” of vegetables and collaborates with “Shizen-Yasai Nora”, a pesticide-free vegetable farm in Abiko City, Chiba. She thinks of a menu on the spot based on the vegetables and teaches the best way to prepare and incorporate the seasonal ingredients.

Students in the “Vegetable Class” are asked to bring vegetable scraps from their homes, such as the stems, core and skin of vegetables that they accumulate when cooking at home. During the class, the vegetable scraps that are accumulated are put into a large pot which soon starts to resemble a vivid watercolor painting created by the different colors of vegetables. Water is added and the pot is left to stew over low heat for 20 minutes. On this particular day, tomato skin was added and therefore after carefully straining the vegetables, the vegetable broth (vegetable soup stock) had become a beautiful pink color. The broth was shared among the students and all you could hear was words of amazement. No one could believe that the vegetable scraps that would usually be thrown out could create something that had so much potential. The joy of discovering different possibilities of zero-waste cooking, where vegetables can be used to their full potential is truly something to be grateful for.

The veggie broth is made in every “Vegetable Class” that many students continuously return to. The soup using the veggie broth, which on this particular day was butternut pumpkin soup, tasted even good on its own but had now become rich and full of umami with different layers of flavors unfolding with each sip. It is also said that rice cooked in the vegetable broth is yet another incredible flavor. The vegetable scraps that are leftover from the broth are frozen and returned to the fields in Chiba by Nibe once a month and used as organic fertilizer.

Growing up with pesticide-free vegetables grown by her own parents, Nibe has always felt that everything surrounding us, including food, has a producer and that the environment, people and everything around them have an impact on each other. After a large scale catering job that Nibe did during the start of SHUNNO KITCHEN had created a large amount of plastic waste, she has since then decided to use plastic-free container and cutlery. She tries to minimize the waste of ingredients such as upcycling the fruits she uses from making bottled syrup, which contains enzymes and makes bottled fruit vinegar. “It is nice to share our senses through the joy of tasting food. It would be even nicer if through this I could change peoples consciousness in a sustainable way”, Nibe says.

There are many people who are not vegan but who love vegetables. In the “Vegetable Class”, you can pursue the unique characteristics of vegetables that are different from meat and fish. It allows you to participate in the “cycle” of the vegetables coming from the field and returning to the field, starting with the vegetable scraps that are slowly collected at home. Just as no two vegetables taste the same, the students differ every class and so does the taste of the vegetable broth. That being said, the cooking class brings different encounter and an enriched learning experience that is different every time.



Limiting the number of customers when crowded,
Wearing masks,
Constant washing and disinfecting hands,
Disinfecting the facility,
Keeping the shop ventilated



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