Meet Takashi, a member of Snow Peak's accounting team by day and an outdoor chef off the clock. Don't miss his delicious yakitori and tare recipe – it's a must-try for your next Takibi Time! Read on to learn more about his passion for the culinary arts, local ingredients, and time outside. Follow his adventures on Instagram Ironchef_tak.
What inspired your love and passion for cooking?
I was fortunate to be born into a family that loves food. Food has always been the center of gatherings and celebrations. My mom is a great cook; growing up, I learned a lot from her. I wanted to recreate and carry on the dishes she made. My dad frequently took my family out to restaurants to try new foods, which piqued my curiosity about different cuisines and ingredients.
I also religiously watched the cooking show Iron Chef and took inspiration from the culinary masters featured. My current goal is to be as creative and versatile as the Iron Chefs are by using local ingredients and studying different cuisines that can highlight them.
What do you love about grilling/cooking over the fire?
I love the community and connection that cooking over a fire provides. Gathering around a fire and cooking a meal together is one of my favorite things about the human experience. It allows us to slow down and fully be present. The taste and aroma of a grilled meal are such a treat and connect us to our roots as humans.
Besides cooking, what are some of your favorite outdoor activities?
Fishing and foraging are some of my favorite outdoor activities. The Pacific Northwest has plenty of opportunities for all four seasons. I enjoy the thrill and adventure of being able to harvest my ingredients. Some of my favorite species to target for fishing are Coho and Chinook salmon on the rivers, surf perch, rockfish, and lingcod on the coast. I also love to forage for chanterelle and porcini mushrooms in the fall and huckleberries in the summer. I can usually be found in nature on the weekends with my foraging book, searching for and learning about new ingredients.
What are your favorite Snow Peak products for cooking (or in general)?
My favorite Snow Peak product for cooking is the Takibi Fire and Grill. It creates a unique cooking experience and provides all the flavor benefits of cooking over a fire. Some other favorite products are the GigaPower Stove 2.0 – Auto and the Wabuki Chopsticks. They are both compact, and I always bring them with me on hikes and fishing trips to boil water quickly for my lunch, which is usually a cup of ramen.