Award-winning chef to offer cooking demonstration at Scottsdale Arts

Nobuo Fukuda. (Submitted Photo)

James Beard Award-winning chef Nobuo Fukuda will demonstrate his East-meets-West approach to cooking at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 6 in the Virginia G. Piper Theater, 7380 E. Second St. at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

The free event is part of Scottsdale Arts’ annual Global Discovery Series, which focuses on exploring the artistic culture of a different country each year. This season it is Japan, according to a press release.

Mr. Fukuda, who has worked as a chef in Arizona for 30 years, was born and raised in Tokyo, and started his career at Benihana when he was 20, a release states.

Now the chef at Nobuo at Teeter House in downtown Phoenix, Mr. Fukuda first gained recognition at Restaurant Hapa in Paradise Valley, where he partnered with chef-owner James McDevitt, whose take on Asian fusion food inspired Mr. Fukuda to conduct similar experiments with sushi.

In 2002, Mr. Fukuda opened Sea Saw, a Japanese tapas bar in Scottsdale that earned him the Beard award, accolades from every local publication and a “Chef to Watch” nod from John Mariani of Esquire magazine, as well as a spot on the “Best New Chefs of 2003” list from Food & Wine magazine.

Known as a self-assured iconoclast who honors Japanese traditions as he breaks them, Mr. Fukudo sometimes re-invents Japanese cuisine at Teeter House while offering omakase, which allows the chef to prepare what he wants for patrons.

The cooking demonstration is part of the Yo! Matsuri (Night Festival) that closes this season’s Discovery series, which began in October.

Other festival highlights include:

  • Mainstage performances by HopiToWa, a Japanese and Native American fusion band; Surfing Godzillas, with their retro Japanese rock ’n’ roll; and Arizona Ondo Kai, a local Japanese folk dance troupe.
  • Collaborative Taiko Show with local Taiko groups in the Virginia G. Piper Theater.
  • Educational events, such as a Japanese tea demonstration, a film screening on Japanese lowriding culture and information on the history of Japanese tattooing.
  • Sake tastings led by Arizona’s only sake brewer, Atsuo Sakurai of Arizona Sake, throughout the night. His sake also will be on sale at the Encore Bar in the Center.

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