Aya was born and raised in Japan and her mother and grandmother’s homemade Japanese comfort food continue to influence her cooking style to this day. She believes Asian food should be approachable and wants to show others that they, too, can learn how to make everything from dumplings to noodles to sushi. Her aim is to remove the intimidation factor and show you that with the right ingredients and a little practice, these dishes can become part of your regular dinner rotation.
After graduating from college, Aya moved to NYC and absolutely loved living there for more than 10 years. While working in finance, she really enjoyed being exposed to the wonderfully food cultures that the city had to offer. She was always an adventurous eater and trying new food that is simple but delicious from all kinds of cuisines. She then realized what her grandmother and mother had been quietly teaching her throughout her childhood- no matter who you are, or where you come from, good, nourishing food brings people together.
After she had her first child in Brooklyn, she moved to Connecticut, and decided to focus on raising her children in a quiet suburb life. While raising and cooking for her children, she became interested in nutrition and wellness. Wanting to formalize her education, she earned her health coaching certificate at Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Also she took many courses at Le Cordon Bleu in Tokyo and several other courses in Tokyo, Kyoto, and NYC to polish her culinary skills. Today, she is still continuing to learn every aspect of cooking from fellow chefs at a restaurant kitchen, cookbooks, and even from students who take her cooking class. She believes cooking is always evolving and there's always a new discovery awaiting.
The foundation of Aya’s food philosophy is eating seasonally and locally. She believes in keeping it simple and allowing the main components of a dish to stand on their own. She tends to veer away from overcomplicating things with layers of flavors that conceal the taste of the actual ingredients. Aya consistently looks to local farms and farmer’s markets for inspiration in developing her next dish.