The Seven Samurai Chefs finalists during their tour of Japan experienced the unique production methods behind popular local delicacies and visited some of the world’s most famous food markets, as well as renowned restaurants in Tokyo, Osaka, Toba and Kyoto. From salmon donburi and popcorn-smoked dashi, to ponzu-infused calimari and zesty himachi, these chefs' creations are out of this world. Fighting off fierce competition, only one Samurai Chef will win the chance to collaborate with ANA’s own award-winning catering team to create a light meal for its Winter 2016 Business Class menu on ANA’s London – Tokyo route.
Find out each chef's experience of Japan and their meal design concept:
By Hamza Aidouni, London
My dish is refreshing, simple and healthy without compromising flavour. I was inspired by Tsukiji fish market-the fresh flavour was wonderfully offset by the texture and flavour of sesame seed and herb. An obvious accompaniment to my dish was the Japanese staple of rice, coated in fresh cabbage. The tofu soya is an homage to the soya district.
By Craig Floate, Nottingham
My dish is punchy and full of flavour with a hint of spice to get the taste buds going. The melt in the mouth beef compliments the crunchy vegetables, finished off with fragrant fresh coriander. No salt or pepper is used in the dish, with tomatoes and miso aiding the natural umami.
Piero Leone, London
A 7 day tour. 7 seas where fish swim and 7 healthy virtues. 7 herbs and 7 Gods of Luck. all inspired my dish which focuses on good, fresh ingredients packed with flavour and natural umami. The calamari scallops and prawns are just seared with a touch of sesame oil and ponzu sauce. Lemon jelly and miso paste add flavour, alongside two rice chips: yuzu lemon and wakame seaweed.
Spencer Metzger, London
My inspiration was for a donburi dish that's light, fresh, full of acidity and one that is not served hot, as this is the common perception of in-flight food. I want ANA's guests to be surprised with an exceptional meal. My dish can be prepared fresh and finished on board alongside garnishes.
Cheung-On Shum 'Jason', London
My dish has five key ingredients from Japanese cuisine: salt, sugar, miso, vinegar and soy sauce. With dashi, the gently poached salmon stays beautifully moist yet not too oily. Shiitake mushroom and nori with the salmon achieves additional umami. The lotus root crisps provide a change in texture and is all lifted by acidity and slight sweetness of the pickled ginger.
Lizzy (Elizabeth) Stables, London
As you can see, my dish has quite a few different recipes going on. All are very simple but with keeping in the theme of a vegan dish, I thought it was very important to still keep the balance of sweet, salty, fresh and crunch.
Kelvin Tan, Dublin Ireland
I want ANA's guests to relive our trip to Tenpaku dried bonito factory, where we were shown wonderful hospitality alongside unforgettable experience - the mellow smoky aroma, the heart-warming dashi, the simplicity of a delicious bowl of rice. My donburi is a twist on the classic Ochazuke (Tea& Rice).