Rice point of view - Luxeat Insider

Good morning,

This May, our newsletter Luxeat Insider marks its one year anniversary. It’s a small milestone, but we are very proud of it, and if you are reading this, we owe you a big thank you!

I, with Luxeat Insider’s co-founder Evelina, started the newsletter during the peak of the pandemic. It was and continues to be an incredibly uncertain time for the fine dining community, and we’re navigating new waters as we look ahead to the world coming out of the pandemic. We are proud to have delivered nine newsletters to you, where we have interviewed so many gastronomy insiders. From cookbooks author Nancy Singleton Hachisu to food journalist Matt Goulding, it’s been a blast. 

In this issue, we’re looking at the humble yet endlessly important ingredient of rice. It’s a staple food for 60 per cent of the world’s population, and something that’s often overlooked as a mere vehicle for the main flavour and protein. So, we decided to explore it more. 

We’ve done a deep dive into Japanese rice growing with fifth generation farmer Kayama San from near Kyoto, a compilation of rice recipes from top chefs around the world, and an exploration of doburoku – the little known fermented rice drink that can be eaten with a spoon. We’ve also spoken to author and historian Francesca Bray, who has spent many decades researching the global importance of rice.



Francesca Bray: the inimitable power of rice

We’ve talked recently about the complex flavour profiles of olive oil, the making of balsamic vinegar, and the myriad varieties of wine across Italy and Europe. This month, in part of a deep dive into the ingredients which shape our food culture and civilisation as we know it, we take a look at the humble and yet endlessly versatile staple that is rice.
We sit down with Francesca Bray, who has spent many decades researching the global importance of rice. Beyond the methods of cultivation, Francesca is continually fascinated by the part rice plays in politics and trade networks, modern society and human civilisation. 

Rice dishes

Rice and fine dining: A celebration of recipes and ideas from top chefs around the world

Rice, as we’ve discovered in researching its value across various corners of the world in this special issue, is a staple in many billions of peoples’ diets around the world. In West Africa, the Indian subcontinent, large parts of East and Southeast Asia and even parts of Europe, it’s integral not only to sustenance but also to culture and society. 
Rice also has a place in the fine dining world, everywhere from Bangkok to London, Mumbai to Tokyo. Here, we talk to renowned chefs who take inspiration from a huge variety of different of cuisines from around the world.


Beyond Sake: Japanese rice wine, and the fascinating world of Doburoku

By Pablo Alomar Salvioni

Doburoku. Normally a traditional homemade drink, doburoku has a long history dating back centuries. It fed the souls and minds of impoverished farmers, and was even offered to the Gods for a better harvest. As sake was only affordable for the upper classes, this was the booze for the humble and working-class people in Japan.


Tales of a Japanese Rice Grower: Kayama San

As part of a special issue about rice, we sit down with Kayama San, who comes from five generations of ancestral Japanese farmers in Northern Kyoto. Beyond continuing the family legacy, he feels a sense of mission and purpose in protecting Japanese food culture, as well as helping maintain the beautiful rural landscape of his homeland. 
The Kamaya family cultivate Koshihikari, believed to be the most delicious rice variety in Japan, as well as Hikari, the most famous type of Japanese rice overseas. Their business, Yuki Kyoto Rice, is dedicated to producing the very best golden rice, rich in flavour and texture and unlike anything else we’ve tried before.

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