The Innovative Food Community From Kanazawa.
- Part 2 -


The Innovative Food Community From Kanazawa.
- Part 2 -

#Pick up

宮田人司/Miyata Hitoshi(OPENSAUCE) by「A_RESTAURANT」

This month, we bring you a movement from Kanazawa that is driving the food scene. Following "Alembic Ohno Distillery" reported in the first part, the second part introduces "OPENSAUCE", which connects the old and the new in a wonderful way.

writer:Ryoko Kuraishi

Mr. Nakagawa of Alembic Ohno Distillery (left) and Mr. Miyata, founder of OPENSAUCE (right).

Searching for the taste of the future.

We have long heard rumors of a unique food community in Kanazawa. It is called "OPENSAUCE.

The company's name is "OPENSAUCE." It is engaged in R&D using the latest technology to preserve the roots and traditions of food, provides opportunities for overseas chefs to experience Japanese food culture, pursues food and agriculture from new angles, and has recently launched an agricultural venture and a sake brewing division.

The founder of OPENSAUCE is Hitoshi Miyata, a musician who has worked extensively with video production and IT companies. He moved to Kanazawa in 2010 after the birth of his child.

He started OPENSAUCE because he began to think about what home cooking he would remember when his children grew up.

A_RESTAURANT" is located in the center of Kanazawa. A bowling alley on the second floor of a building was fully renovated. The kitchen can be seen in the back.

I left my parents' home a little earlier than other people, at the age of 18, but there are many 'tastes of my mother' that remain in my memory.

A typical example of what I consider the "Miyata family taste" is a dish in which onions and shiitake mushrooms are simmered in sake and mirin, and seasoned with soy sauce, sugar, salt, hawk's claw, and lemon juice.

It was a staple dish that appeared on the dinner table several times a month in my family, but when I asked my elementary school classmates, they had never seen or heard of such a dish.

When I asked my mother about it, she told me that it was an appropriate adaptation of a dish that a Thai maid used to make when she lived in Bangkok in the past.

It was somewhat interesting to me that a dish born in Bangkok had become a part of the Miyata family's taste, and now myself, my brother, and my wife all make it. The roots and traditions of food are much more extensive than I had imagined.

Each of the so-called traditional Japanese dishes and home cooking must have its own story. I now want to bequeath them to the future as a cultural legacy along with their flavors.

"A_RESTAURANT" offers a variety of dishes with different techniques and ingredients, and is also eager to work on drink pairings.

While there are many researchers and chefs working on "food heritage," what makes OPENSAUCE unique is that it aims to use modern technology to develop software that anyone can use to develop and research food culture, and to publish the results on an open platform.

The base of this activity is "A_RESTAURANT," a restaurant and research and development organization for chefs.

It is equipped with a large kitchen, as it is mainly engaged in food research. What is presented here are the results of the chefs' research.

KNOWCH staff who made the transition from a different industry and moved to Kanazawa. Satoshi Murata, the president of KNOWCHI, also came from a different industry. Originally a financial salesman, he became interested in agriculture when he started holding study sessions for farmers, many of whom were his clients at the time.

The gateway to agriculture, which forms the foundation of food.

In 2019, he launched KNOWCH, an agricultural venture.

While researching the future of food, he was confronted with the issues facing modern agriculture, such as abandoned fields and farmers leaving farming, and he wanted to contribute to solving these problems.

Miyata said that even though he had the will to connect with agriculture, he did not even know how to enter the farming industry.

Because of the Agricultural Land Law, it is not easy to acquire farmland unless you have been a farmer for generations (at the time), and without farmland, you cannot become a farmer (a qualified agricultural land-owning corporation).

Therefore, together with Mr. Satoshi Murata, the representative of "KNOWCH," we came up with the idea of developing an agricultural platform to free farmers from these ties and the old system.

We want to increase the "value of agriculture" for everyone by having motivated producers use abandoned farmland and by passing on the "agricultural knowledge" passed down to the next generation of farmers.

Currently, "KNOWCH" is cultivating grapes in Japan and New Zealand, and exploring new ways of farming and agriculture.

On the other hand, Alembic Ohno Distillery, which took on the challenge of producing distilled spirits for the first time in Kanazawa, can be said to be another team that is responsible for an "OPENSAUCE"-style manufacturing site.

OPENSAUCE, which pursues food and agriculture, brings together various members who share the concept of "the future of food.

Although their stances and activities are completely different, they embody the values of OPENSAUCE as well as KNOWCH.

When I talked to Miyata-san, who I have known for 20 years, about starting a sake brewery, he invited me to come to Kanazawa if I wanted to start my own business.

He also had just started an agricultural division, and he sympathized with my sake brewing, so I decided to start up as a member of OPENSAUCE" (Nakagawa).

A_RESTAURANT" is equipped with a waiting bar and guest shifts can be arranged.

Apart from distilled spirits, they are currently working on sake production.

A long-established sake brewery with a history of 375 years in Higashi Chikuho County, Nagano Prefecture, is planning to relocate to Matsukawa Village, Azumino City, and "OPENSAUCE" is in charge of this project.

It is not just about making sake. They plan to revive "Kinmon-nishiki," a native variety of sake rice from the Hokushin region that has been called "fantastic sake rice," and brew sake with water from the underground streams of the Goratateyama mountain range.

The first brewing after the relocation is scheduled for the fall of 2024, and beyond that, he is also considering doburoku and whiskey production.

What is Mr. Miyata's vision for OPENSAUCE?

The other day, we opened a jazz club called Asile in Katamachi, Kanazawa, and invited young jazz musicians in their 20s and 30s for the opening.

They are very good musicians, and I heard that they honed their skills by repeatedly watching live performances of legendary musicians on YouTube.

As an IT professional in the 1990s, I had worked hard to popularize the Internet, and I felt that I was witnessing the moment when all that hard work came to fruition.

In the same way, I hope that the efforts of "OPENSAUCE" to convey the roots of food with high resolution will leave some kind of mark on the food world 20 or 30 years from now.

That is what I hope for the food scene in the future.

〒920-0981 石川県金沢市片町2-23-12 2階