Jess McHugh wrote her first report for Fukuoka Now on Dean & DeLuca’s grand opening in Solaria Plaza last year. A year on, she returned to the scene for its first anniversary celebration.
Dean & DeLuca has drawn a global following for being, as their tagline says, “purveyors of fine food” – and they’d certainly proved that at their opening event in April 2015. So as we donned our complimentary aprons, butterflies of culinary anticipation fought with ravenous hunger for control of our stomachs.
Upon entering the store we were greeted by sakura and a glass of brut rose – a sophisticated start to the evening. The store was packed with elegantly dressed gourmet grazers, models and media. There were several food stations set up, each serving a different kind of delicious fare: a charcuterie, a prepared food buffet, a hot dishes counter, a seafood bar, a sushi sampling station, a cheese-tasting area, a dessert station and more. Plus a bar serving various wines, beers and coffee.
Some of the highlights were the melt-in-the-mouth roasted sirloin of Miyazaki Wagyu beef served with crystallised ginger, the rich swordtip squid involtini, the tender grilled Kirishima Sanroku pork with mustard sauce, the gorgeously creamy goats cheese topped with Maldon sea salt, and their challah bread – hard to find in Japan.
Most of the hot food served was a special menu prepared specifically for the event, but many of the other gluttony-inducing items are available for purchase at the store.
If your premium-quality food baby was making you a little drowsy, you could enjoy a coffee at the bar – but this was not just any coffee. Minako Yoshizumi, head of new cafe menu development at Dean & DeLuca Japan and winner of third place in the World Latte Art Championship 2016, was creating beautiful latte art using nothing but a toothpick, a spoon and a steady hand. Turtles, rabbits and fish were just some of the creature we saw her create out of foam!
Dean & DeLuca hosted this party to celebrate a year in Fukuoka, but also to thank their loyal customers. So as guests left, each was handed a goody bag with a whole loaf of fluffy bread inside.
Dean & DeLuca has become a firm favorite amongst Fukuoka’s foodie crowd, and the gourmet store and eatery will open a second Fukuoka branch in Hakata on Apr. 21 (Thu.) (on B1F of Amu Plaza). Congratulations to Dean & DeLuca on their successful first year in Fukuoka, and to many more to come!