When I visit any country, the first thing I do is go to market to say hello to the vegetables,’ says Japanese chef Toshio Tanahashi. He’s not joking. ‘It’s very important.
More important than meeting people.’ Tanahashi practises shojin ryori, the Japanese name for a form of Buddhist cuisine that adds a spiritual dimension to cooking.
He has almost cult status in Japan as one of its few masters, is revered globally for his approach by chefs such as Alain Ducasse, and is seriously devoted to vegetables.