Perfection in 14 Courses

"Kaiseki (懐石) or kaiseki ryōri (懐石料理) is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. The term also refers to the collection of skills and techniques that allow the preparation of such meals, and are analogous to Western haute cuisine.

There are basically two kinds of traditional Japanese meal styles called kaiseki or kaiseki ryōri. The first, where kaiseki is written as 会席 (and kaiseki ryōri, 会席料理), referring to the fancy meal served at banquets. The other is written 懐石 or 懐石料理, referring to the simple meal that the host of a chanoyu gathering serves to the guests, and which is also known as cha-kaiseki (茶懐石). "

- Wikipedia

"Kaiseki-ryori is an artistic and gracious Japanese seasonal cuisine. In fact, it can be said that kaiseki ryori is the ultimate Japanese cuisine. In Japanese, ryori means dishes, so what does "kaiseki" mean? The meaning comes from the story that said Buddhist priests in strict Zen training used to keep a hot stone (seki) in their kimono pocket (kai) in order to make their fasting more bearable. The kaiseki-ryori was originally served during traditional tea ceremonies and is also called cha (tea) kaiseki. It was thought that the tea would taste better if the people weren't starved. So the word "kaiseki" is used for the light meal served during the tea ceremony. "

- About.com


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