Last month, we spent a few weeks working with our team in Japan--first in Osaka, then in Tokyo. It’s (needless to say, probably) always a pleasure to be in Japan, shoulder to shoulder with the cooks and servers who keep our Tokyo store running. But this time we also tried something new that gave the whole trip a special feeling of purpose.
Last year, when our Tokyo chef, Takuya Nishina, came to New York to train, he participated in an event we hosted to raise money for the International Rescue Committee. It was a tasting event of the kind we're familiar with in New York, featuring chefs from Oxalis, Delaware & Hudson, Franny’s (of blessed memory) and butchers Erika Nakamura & Jocelyn Guest. But Nishina hadn't seen an event like that in Tokyo, and he left New York committed not only to taking Egg's menu to Tokyo, but to spreading Egg's values there, too.
He put together an event to coincide with our recent visit—a night of small plates prepared by our Brooklyn team (Evan Hanczor & George Weld) and our Tokyo team (Takuya Nishina & Takuya Konno) to benefit underprivileged kids in Toshima-ku, the Tokyo ward where Egg Tokyo is located.
We served deviled eggs garnished with crispy shards of chicken skin; chawan-mushi served in egg shells, barbecued carrot tacos, miso-cured beef, and miniature egg tarts, among other things—and raised nearly $1000 for needy kids in the process.
Working in Japan has been an eye-opening, heart-warming, mind-expanding experience in so many ways, and we've been deeply grateful to our neighbors in Toshima for supporting our work there. It was a great to go over and give something back, to see a simple symbol of generosity in Brooklyn create a ripple that washed all the way across the world.