20 february 1582, nagasaki, japan:
in hopes of capitalizing on the revenue from the lucrative silk trade, european jesuit missionaries sent four young japanese men as ambassadors to europe. these young men were to serve as “living letters” to the pope, as well as the newly crowned king of spain, phillip ii. the idea was to convince the european nobility of the “good work” being done by catholic missionar-ies in japan, and their hope was to be rewarded with a larger portion of the profits from the silk trade.
the boys, and their handlers arrived in lisbon, portugal on 13 august, 1584. the embassy spent 4 years traveling
europe, meeting heads of state, visiting holy relics, interacting with social elites, and of course eating very well. this menu is an homage to their voyage. it is rooted in the ideas of cultural plu-rality, sharing of technology, and the exchange of
ingredients and techniques. In the spirit of exchange, chefs of local european restaurants have graciously provided us with ingredients and recipes for some of the dishes. the country of origin, as well as chef and restaurant, are noted on each dish. some of these dishes fuse flavors, while others taste distinctly of their home countries