More than meets the eye: the importance of the invisible in Japanese food

2 DAYS @ Slow Food Pavilion Milano Expo

11th July 6pm  
Speakers: Akinori Kimura, Perm Paitayawat and Sebastian Melnitzsky
12th July 4.30 pm
Speakers: Perm Paitayawat and Sebastian Melnitzsky


From farm to table, our food is constantly being affected by the forces surrounding it whether that be nature or human beings.

Much of this can been seen, however much of it requires us to use our other senses or even intuition to grasp its value in order for us to treat it with the proper respect.

Our speakers on the 11th and 12th of July at the Slow Food Pavilion will be sharing with us their thoughts and observations regarding their experiences.

Akinori Kimura is an apple grower from Aomori prefecture who almost came to ruin when he stopped using pesticides on his trees due to his wife’s health. Close to committing suicide he was inspired by a lone healthy tree growing in the wild. His resolve to imitate nature and restore his soil to its natural health has since led him to grow the now much sought after ‘miracle apple’. Kimura will be telling us his story which led him to grow these perfect, pesticide-free apples.

Perm Paitayawat and Sebastian Melnitzky on the other hand will be speaking on the aesthetics of Japanese food after their research trip with GEN last march in the Prefecture of Mie. They will be focusing on kaiseki (Japanese multi-course meal) and wagashi (traditional Japanese desserts), two visually beautiful Japanese art forms. Beyond what one sees, Perm and Sebi will also be deconstructing some of the meaning and thought behind such elaborate displays of food presentation.


Akinori Kimura(Japan)/ Producer of  ‘Miracle Apple’

Perm Paitayawat(Thailand)/ Food writer and consultant, PhD student and lecturer in Theatre Studies

Sebastian Melnitzsky(Argentine)/ Graduate of the University of Gastronomic Sciences,
Student in the Food Innovation Program,Reggio Emilia


Fantasia nel Bento (Bento with Fantasy)

MUBA Museo dei Bambini Milano
Via Enrico Besana 12, Milano
Activity period: from 7 to 19 July (monday closed)
10.00-11.30; 11.30-13.00; 14.00-15.30; 15.45-17.15; 17.30-19.00
Age: 6 years and above
Tickets: EUR 8 per child, EUR 6 per adult


We are pleased to announce our support for our sister company GEN Genuine Japan Association (Tokyo, Japan) in collaboration with MUBA in their joint project: ‘Fantasia nel Bento’ (Fantasy in the Bento Box).

Children in this workshop are encouraged to exercise their imagination to create an original bento box meal for a friend living in a different country or for a celebrity. By becoming a Bento Chef they will be entering into different cultures around the world.
The bento box is a traditional Japanese lunch box, usually packed at home to be eaten outside the home containing various foods depending on the season, region and family preferences. Preparing bento boxes is an activity that reflects ones identity and creativity. In our workshop we would like to ask children to create original bento boxes as an exercise of their imagination to think about others.


While children imagine what another country might be like, they can learn about the local and seasonal food production in that country through their own hands. We believe that our program is a doorway towards world peace, something that is achievable through the understanding of other cultures.

Milano EXPO is the perfect opportunity for us to appeal to the international community on the necessity of food education from various perspectives. We are convinced that the project will be a most influential challenge to implement our philosophy through our activities.

Facebook: Fantasia nel Bento by GEN

GEN Genuine JAPAN Association:
It’s a non-profit organisation based in Japan specialising in international food education programs. It aims to promote genuine Japanese traditions and its regional food cultures in Europe through various educational activities. They are strongly linked to partners in Italy in order to design creative and innovative activities that stimulate the five senses allowing children to learn about different cultures through our unique programs.