The Chef: Hayato!
The Menu: A phenomenal, five-course Japanese indulgence! Each dish was hand-crafted, incredibly delicious, and, as you can see, gorgeously plated. Up top you see a light and lovely miso soup that featured green beans and tofu. On the plate, Hayato served brown-rice-filled inari, which were dotted with green beans and carrots and surprisingly savory. Moving clockwise, you see a sesame-based, tofu-like custard called goma dofu that we topped with dots of wasabi and soy sauce and eagerly devoured. Perfectly prepared kabocha squash and green beans were next, followed by the best lotus root any of us had ever tasted. Hayato sautéed the lotus root with shiitake mushrooms and topped the dish with black sesame seeds. Are we the luckiest people on Earth today? Yes.
The Goods: Is there anything better than having a professional chef come all the way across the Pacific and make lunch for you? No, there isn't; don't even try to come up with something. Our guest-turned-chef is actually a chef in Japan, and we couldn't have been more thrilled when he offered us the special treat of an authentic Japanese lunch. The meal was easily the most time-intensive lunch ever served at the VNHQ—rumor has it that Hayato was up until 4am last night making preparations! We are indescribably grateful for the effort; today's meal was an outrageously special treat.