After 15 years in Japan, Venezuelan Alvaro Perez Miranda moved to New York and is now a resident of Miami. He has received the honor of being the first Latino to be named “Goodwill Ambassador for Japanese Gastronomy,” a symbolic award given by the Japanese government.
Alvaro Perez Miranda: First Latino to Receive Japanese Gastronomy Goodwill Ambassador Award
On February 28, the Japanese Ministry of Agricultural, Forestry, & Fishery will present the award, which has been designated since 2015. The award, which officially recognizes the promotion and dissemination of Japanese culinary culture abroad, will be presented by the Consul of Japan in Miami, Kazuhiro Nakai.
The purpose of spreading Japanese culinary culture abroad is to promote awareness, Perez Miranda believes. He wants to pass on the attention to detail, hospitality, and sensitivity that the Japanese show despite their natural modesty as a form of gratitude for all that he learned in Japan. It is a legacy that he wants to keep alive.
The essence of Japanese cuisine lies in the search for the balance of flavors and the perfect harmony between the fresh and the simple.
Alvaro Perez Miranda’s Wabi Sabi & Hiyakaya Restaurants
At the age of 58, his professional career includes more than 70 projects, including the ownership and consulting of art galleries and restaurants of various specialties, located all over the world, but with a special focus on Japanese cuisine.
Wabi Sabi and Hiyakaya restaurants, which will open in Miami in 2018 and 2020, respectively, are among his most recent projects.
At their helm are chef Masayuki Komatsu, Hiro Asano and Tomo Inoue, working with ingredients imported from Tokyo’s famous Toyosu Fish Market.
In 1989 he had the opportunity to experience how two very different cultures could come together. His sensitivity helped him to understand the connection between the two cultures and to appreciate the attention to detail, the flavors and the delicacy of Japanese cuisine. This allowed him to master it, despite being a foreigner and coming from a distant country.”
Pérez Miranda, who received this award from the Japanese government, expresses his satisfaction. He is about to open two new restaurants in Florida City. His work is motivated by his love of Japanese culture.
American chef David Bouley is among the “Goodwill Ambassadors for Japanese Gastronomy”, along with two of Japan’s best chefs: Yoshihiro Murata – seven Michelin stars in three restaurants in Tokyo and Kyoto – and Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, who lived in Peru and later founded the international Nobu chain with Robert De Niro and Meir Teper.
About the Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador Award
The Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the promotion of Japanese cuisine abroad. Initiated by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Award is presented annually to influential culinary figures and internationally acclaimed chefs.
The main objective of this award is to promote Japanese culinary culture and to encourage appreciation abroad. Japanese cuisine has become one of the most popular culinary arts in the world, known for its elegance and unique flavor. This award honors those who work tirelessly to promote the beauty and flavor of Japanese cuisine.
The selection of the winners is the responsibility of a committee of experts in the Japanese culinary industry and renowned international chefs. Criteria include a contribution to the promotion of Japanese cuisine, impact on society and commitment to Japanese cuisine culture.
Aside from being recognized, the awardees are given the opportunity to attend culinary exchange and promotion programs within Japan and abroad. These programs will further promote Japanese culinary culture by enabling the winners to share their knowledge and experience with the international culinary community.