Have you ever wondered how Tenderstem® broccoli was created? The versatile brassica originated in Japan where it was bred by seed specialists at a company called Sakata, about 20 years ago. Since then Tenderstem® broccoli has become a much-loved vegetable thanks to its unique combination of flavour and texture and its versatility. Members of the team from Sakata recently travelled from Japan to the UK. To mark their visit, we invited renowned food journalists, food stylists and chefs to celebrate Tenderstem® broccoli’s Japanese roots at the prestigious SW3 Dinings, Knightsbridge, with an opportunity to learn more about the origins of our favourite vegetable and to enjoy the ultimate Tenderstem® broccoli 7-course dining experience.
On Wednesday 18th July at SW3 Dinings, Xanthe Clay, the celebrated chef and Telegraph columnist, hosted an intimate interview with Sakata to explore exactly how the idea of Tenderstem® broccoli was initially conceived and the hard work and skill that has gone into breeding and developing it and Sakata’s plans for Tenderstem® broccoli’s future. Our respected guests included The Guardian‘s ‘Feast’ writer, Meera Sodha, food stylist Rosie Scott, pastry chef Henrietta Inman and the Guild of Food Writers committee member Samuel Goldsmith.
The party then enjoyed a Japanese 7-course tasting menu which included Tenderstem® broccoli zukushi, tamago-tofu with Tenderstem® broccoli, kombu-jime Tenderstem® broccoli with sea bass and Tenderstem® broccoli sashimi, and an inaniwa udon noodle Tenderstem® broccoli carbonara, finished off with the finest sake.
Tsunehiro Yagoshi, a seed scientist at Sakata, said, “It was an honour to discuss how and why Tenderstem® broccoli was discovered and the global success Tenderstem® broccoli has enjoyed, but also to explain the challenges we face today to ensure our consumers and growers are satisfied. Not only do we talk to our consumers to ensure that they enjoy the perfect taste, we also continue the conversation with our growers so that we develop Tenderstem® broccoli in the most sustainable way.”
Theresa Richards, Tenderstem® broccoli Assistant Marketing Manager, added, “It was a delight to learn more about the seed breeding expertise behind our unique and iconic brassica and to celebrate this with our foodie friends. The innovative 7-course tasting menu revealed the incredible versatility of Tenderstem® broccoli - it really can be enjoyed in so many different ways!”