• Features

Things that are delicious have to be beautiful

  • delicious Japan
  • May 2020
In 2019, Yukiko Sato of Vegan cuisiniere and her former Le Cordon Bleu Tokyo colleague Haruna Kawano formed Veganista Tokyo, a unit that creates vegan products. They use methods they developed at Le Cordon Bleu Tokyo to recreate current trends and future basic items as vegan products. They are gaining admiration.

Yukiko Sato
Graduated from art school, found work in the design industry, then moved into the world of cuisine. Earned a diploma in cooking in 2017 from Le Cordon Bleu Tokyo.

Haruna Kawano
Earned a diploma in cooking in 2015 from Le Cordon Bleu Tokyo. Has won many prizes in recipe contests and elsewhere.

Tell us about the formation of the Veganista Tokyo unit.

In other countries it is normal for foods to carry marks for things like vegan, halal, and kosher, and if you see the mark, you know at a glance that the food is safe, without having to check the content. In today’s Japan, on the other hand, there is not enough progress towards making food “barrier free”, and we need more chefs with knowledge of such things. We want to become the pioneer in vegan products in Japan, leading the vegan scene, not just in food but also in fashion and lifestyle.

Why did you think of making "vegan energy bars"?

Our vegan energy bars were inspired by Florentines, which are traditional French cakes. Florentines are the leading representative of traditional cakes in France, where they have been loved for a long time. They are French cakes with almonds or other nuts as a topping on cookie dough, coated with caramel. I started thinking “couldn’t we make these Florentines into a vegan energy bar?” It’s a “No Sugar, No Milk, No Butter, No Egg, No Gluten, All Organics” product.

What are the features?

An ordinary energy bar is made of things like cereals and nuts, bound together with sugar or candy and baked. The sugar might make those energy bars an e•icient way to take in energy, but they’re certainly not healthful. Our vegan energy bars use rice flour for the dough and are gluten free. They are made from a few types of organic berry, and a variety of super foods for e•icient nutrient intake.

What do you use for flavoring?

The important sweetness comes from rice syrup and maple syrup, so it’s low GI. Ordinary energy bars lack any aesthetic sense, but our energy bars are superbly finished and look beautiful. That’s something we developed at our old school, Le Cordon Bleu Tokyo. “Things that are delicious have to be beautiful”. At our school, we were taught, in how we cut vegetables and everything a«er that, that we must cut in millimeter units, never be careless, and build up each individual process with care. Our vegan energy bars are revolutionary bars created from the accidental juxtaposition of a number of pieces of that kind of knowledge. We want as many people as possible to savor these vegan energy bars.