is a book of Kaiseki cuisine - the light, elegant, and
nutritious food that accompanies a Japanese tea ceremony.
The author, Bettina Vitell, is best known for her vegetarian cookbook
A Taste of Heaven and Earth, nominated for the IACP /Julia Child Award for
Best Health Cookbook 1994.
The Japanese tea ceremony is a tranquil refuge for contemplation - a time of beauty,
serenity, and graceful entertaining.
Flower arranging for tea is called Chabana. Seasonal flowers are arranged as though
growing wild in a mountain field.
Poetic references to Zen sayings, Noh plays, famous places,
and well-known poems also play an important role in a tea gathering.
page for seasonal listings of food, flowers, and poetry.
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Kaiseki cuisine emphasizes the use of high-quality seasonal foods, much like California
cuisine. The food is light and nutritious, a reflection of the way people cook and
Wind in the Pines Chicken
Mustard Greens with Sesame Dressing
Rikyu, the great tea master of the sixteenth century,
believed that beauty has its most powerful effect when it arises from suggestion and restraint.
In the same spirit, a Kaiseki meal
should be simple in preparation, cooked with your heart, and planned for the
pleasure of your guests.