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The cuisine of the monk

Toshio Tanahashi | TEDxTokyo 2014

At the age of 27, Toshio Tanahashi quit the rat race and became an apprentice at the Zen Buddhist Gesshin Temple in Shiga Prefecture. Through three years of training, he learned of the depth and richness of traditional Buddhist monks’ vegetarian cuisine, known as “shojin ryori”. Since then, he has been working hard nationally and internationally to promote a fulfilling lifestyle that purifies body and mind. Toshio instructs people on how best to prepare vegetables to draw out their natural deliciousness. Based on his belief that his cookery should not become “restaurant food”, he spends an hour every morning grinding sesame to make sesame tofu. Toshio has founded the Zecoow Culinary Institute, which promotes food education through traditional Buddhist vegetarian cuisine.