Yufuin valley is still cold in early spring. I drove up to the valley after a long time to join "Food report study class" sponsored by NPO Sightseeing COARA to be held from 4 p.m. today.
I visited first to Kotokoto-ya tearoom to say hello to my close friends. I enjoyed pleasant chatting with my YMF friends over good aroma of coffee.
Just a few minutes walk from the tearoom took me to Yunotake-Ann restaurant of Kamenoi Besso hotel. The class will be held here sponsored by NPO Sightseeing COARA.
Passing through the shop curtain at the entrance, I opened the sliding door. The first thing I saw was a clear water tank. (Mouse on the picture to enlarge.) I found many small fish swimming in it.
The class is planned exclusively for female. Many women flocked in knots with digital cameras in hands.
The class started at 4:00 p.m. with the few words by Mr. Ono (the president of NPO), and Ms. Kuwano (vice-president.) We will study about food with lectures by some commentators and enjoying special dishes prepared by Yunotake-Ann kitchen.
We will have three lectures today, Ms.Atsuko Furuta from Fukuoka city. She is very good at making wonderful reports on food. She advised us to find "exciting catch copies on food."
Mrs. Maho, Mr. Taro's wife, made a few words as well paying attention on the dishes.
After drinking appetizer. each attendant introduced themselves.

We touched glasses in a toast to the class. The taste of the appetizer was very sweet and smooth making us to feel the melting of snow and arrival of spring in the valley.
A murmur arose at a corner. An unusual-shaped portable stove was carried in onto each table. What will happen next? Click the picture.
The pure white dish is "Early spring."
From left, Nobiru (wild grass) marinated with mustard Miso paste, fried baby sweetfish from Hita city, and egg soup of horsetail from Kujuu plateau.
Crispy feeling of Nobiru, bittersweetness of the baby sweetfish, wonderful harmony of bitter and sweet taste of horsetail all made me happy. They all gave the sense of spring arrival. The baby sweetfish was swimming in the water tank just a few minutes ago. I feel something sorry at he bottom of my chest.
"Yuba Tofu" is nothing than special but it captures the eater and make people feel to request much more. The small amount of the dish is another feature of the food, though.
The soup makes people say "What's this?" when it is set on the table. It is a sort of turnip soup. "Yes, it is real turnip", I just said in spite of myself. I found a wooden spoon in the empty dish at last.
What an unusual taste it was! It was very good for body and soul.
Many women flocked today from various part of Oita prefecture to learn about the dish. Most attendant meet each other for the first time but they soon relaxed and became friends.
Pleasant exchanges.
Good bottles of sake were brought in. They match the dishes very good. The left sake is "Wisdom beauty" made from the core of rice. The right cup is filled with Shochu is "Kanehachi of Usa" made from sweet potato. Watercress nibbles make the taste of drinks much better. The drinks are very good for drinkers.
Taking pictures, making memos, chatting make us very happy. Mr. Furuta, the lecturer today, visits the table around with a microphone in hand.
This is the beautiful dish of the day called "Assorted fresh fish." From left front, carp and trout in the back. On the left is Yamame fish with a bit of Karasumi on it as you see.
The sauce for carp was a little bit hot and tasty. Mouse-on the picture to see the red dots of the spice. The secret flavor of the sauce is Mameita beans, they say.
The salad makes me feel as if I were playing in the spring field.
The bacon on the top the key of the dish. Homemade onion with special dressing can be taken as much as I can eat. The crispy salad includes watercress, celery, onion, and other vegetables that features special flavor of them.
Mr. Tooru Ono, president of NPO Sightseeing COARA, walks around with a microphone in hand.
"All of us can enjoy today by taking good food and hearing impressive lectures. We have a big fruit today, haven't we?"
Today's main dish. Bungo beef grilled with Japanese horseradish is served with a white square dish. The coloring of the dish is just as if a wonderful picture was painted on the canvas. We were completely lost in admiration by the beauty of the art on the warm dish and mouthful juicy taste of the special product of the valley. See the color of the grilled beef that retains the rich juice and good taste of burnt meet.
We were relieved by the green tea.
Next dish is Nanohana Donburi(cooked rape blossoms on the cooked rice.) What is in the covered bowl on the left? Mouse-on the picture to take the lid off and find Shijimi(small freshwater clam) from Shinnji Lake in Shimane prefecture. The rice was cropped last year in Yufuin valley. The rape blossoms was taken from the nearby field and fried quickly using rape blossoms oil. The harmony of rich and soft taste of scrambled egg and impressive smell of Karasumi(roe of cephalous striped mullet) is really wonderful.
The dessert is cool Yuzu orange liqueur and Kuzukiri jelly specially designed by the president of Kamenoi Besso Hotel. Click the picture.
Yugei lecturer ended up the class with some words introducing gourmet magazine "epi" that features the rich content of good foods in Kyushu. Mr. Yugei, the editorial director, gave us proper advices saying "To create a personal homepage is different from gourmet magazines. It must based on the actual experience of taking the dish. It is also important to think about the effect of making the page open to the public."
The pleasant time flew so quickly before we knew. Thank you very much for the wonderful event featuring good food and beneficial lectures. A cold night air welcomed us when we stepped out the restaurant. I walked down to Yufuin railroad station together with new friends. The station master suggested that we might have another snowfall this evening. Yes, Yufuin is much colder than Oita city.
Food report lecture class
Date: March 13, 2005(Sunday) 16:00-18:30
Site: Yunotake-Ann restaurant of Kamenoi Besso Hotel in Yufuin
Sponsored by:NPO Sightseeing COARA
Contents:Learn about good foods and enjoy them through the special dishes of the restaurant

Bunpei Yuge, free editor in Fukuoka city
Atsuko Furuta, TV reporter on food, in Fukuoka city
Atsuko Sato, French cuisine class manager in Oita city
reported by Mieko Nagano