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The Royal Exchange to launch Japanese pop-up menu in collaboration with ANA

On 25th July, the Royal Exchange will launch a Japanese pop-up menu in celebration of Head Chef Piero Leone’s recent travels around the country, and his achievement in being named winner of the Seven Samurai Chefs challenge in collaboration with Japan's only 5-star airline, ANA - All Nippon Airways.

Japanese cuisine and culture has been a longstanding inspiration for Piero, and the pop-up menu will feature a range of small plates all served in traditional Japanese style, and available in the Grand Café and Threadneedle Bar. 

Guests will be able to choose from dishes such as, Spicy crab salad with ponzu, sriracha, ginger and mango; Smoked salmon and seaweed tartare oshi-sushi with pickled gari, soya foam and black carasau; and Tuna tataki lollypop with sesame and ginger dressing. Furthermore, a menu of sake from Shirakabe-Gura will be available to sample alongside the dishes, as well as Japanese whiskies and beers, and cocktails including the Pink Mountain with vodka, shiso shochu, grapefruit and lychee.  

As part of the Seven Samurai Chefs challenge, Piero embarked on a culinary tour of Japan alongside six other UK chefs, visiting some of the world’s most celebrated markets and restaurants and mastering the art of Japanese cooking.  Challenged with creating the traditional Japanese rice bowl dish, called donburi, participating chefs went head to head testing what they had learned on their travels.  Piero’s winning Donburi N7 combines his own culinary style with traditional Japanese cooking techniques, and is packed with fresh flavours, including calamari, scallops, and prawns, seared with a touch of sesame oil and ponzu sauce. 

As the winner, Piero has gained the opportunity to have his dish served across ANA’s Business Class menus on the London-Tokyo route from December 2016, alongside dishes created by culinary experts including the three Michelin star chefs, Kunio Tokuoka of Kyoto Kitcho, and Toru Okuda of Ginza Okuda.  A variation of this winning dish will also be available on the menus at the Royal Exchange’s Sauterelle restaurant for the duration of the pop-up from July until September.  

On being named the winner of Seven Samurai Chefs, Piero Leone commented: "I'm absolutely thrilled that my dish Donburi N7 was selected as the winner of this competition. Japan's culture and wisdom has always been a big inspiration to me and the culinary tour was a great opportunity to see Japan and discover little by little this wonderful country. The cities we visited provided me with a greater understanding on how people eat locally and the importance of interweaving ancient traditions, landscape and climate with the value of outstanding produce and good food. With this new awareness, I thought on creating something that combines all of these different elements, synthesised with my respect and admiration for Japanese flavours.”  

As part of the collaboration, ANA are offering the chance to win a trip to Tokyo for two, including ANA flights from London to Tokyo, a tour guide, and three nights’ accommodation at Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa.

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