Hiroko Shimbo is a consulting chef to the restaurant and foodservice industries and award-winning cookbook author based in the United States since 1999. Hiroko is widely recognized as an expert on Japanese cuisine. While continuing to author books about her native cuisine, she is currently a consultant to Japanese government authorities involved in the promotion of high-quality food exports to the United States.
Hiroko has taught a popular and intensive, hands-on, basic Japanese cooking course, Essentials of Japanese Cuisine, and single-subject speciality classes on subjects such as sushi and ramen at International Culinary Center in New York City (ICE). Previously she has taught Japanese cooking at schools across the country and in Europe. She is now providing instruction via online courses and will continue offering cooking classes through media and in-person instruction when such activities resume.
Hiroko’s award-winning books:
- The Japanese Kitchen (Harvard Common Press, 2000) – IACP Finalists, Food & Wine magazine Best of The Best, and Cooking Light magazine Top 100 Cookbook of the Last 25 Years. This book is considered the standard work on Japanese cuisine for a Western audience.
- The Sushi Experience (Knopf, 2006) – James Beard Foundation Finalist. The book explores the history and culture of sushi and thoroughly details its preparation. It is recognized as a standard by professionals and avocational cooks as well.
- Hiroko’s American Kitchen: Cooking with Japanese Flavors (Andrews McMeel 2012). The book won the IACP Cookbook Award as “The Best American Cookbook of the Year”. The book provides an entirely new perspective on Japanese cooking. Rather than teaching how to prepare classical Japanese cuisine, it focuses instead on integrating Japanese flavors, cooking techniques and staples into the North American table.
Hiroko is currently writing a fourth book that discusses in-depth Japanese cuisine’s characteristics, its philosophy, and guidelines. It features the ways in which the cuisine celebrates and respects nature. The book offers the readers the opportunity to stop and think about ‘why we eat’, ‘what we choose to eat’ and ‘how to prepare our meals with an awareness of nature and those who provide it to us’. The book includes both everyday fare as well as more formal dishes such as are served at high-end Japanese restaurants.
Once a year Hiroko operates a culinary tour to Japan. In 2021 Hiroko offers a tour to Kyushu, the southern main island of Japan. Kyushu is one of the most important foods and food history destinations in Japan. The tour explores the best of the best Kyushu.