Translated from the Original Japanese Text: Written by Shigenobu Nakajima
Photo by Shuhei Fujita

Story Highlights

  • The Olive-fed beef is a wagyu brand produced in Kagawa, Japan.
  • The Olive-fed Beef impressed Masayuki Okuda, top Italian chef in Japan. He decided to use the Olive-fed Beef for the menu in his newly opened restaurant, MIYAJIMA Bocca Al-ché-cciano in Miyajima, Hiroshima.
  • The Olive-Fed Beef enables Recycling-Based Agriculture by using olive skins to feed to local cattle whose manure is then used to fertilize the olives.

 

MIYAJIMA Bocca Al-ché-cciano Was Opened in Miyajima-Guchi, Pier to the World Heritage Site of Miyajima, Provides a Whole View of Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima Shrine

Itsukushima (in Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture) is an island located in Setonaikai, or Seto Inland Sea. The island, called Miyajima or Aki-no-Miyajima, is one of the “Three best views in Japan” together with Matsushima (in Miyagi) and Amano-Hashidate (in Kyoto). Located in the Northeast of the island, Itsukushima Shrine was registered as a World Heritage Site in 1996. Also the Itsukushima Shrine was selected as the third place in “Popular tourist spots for foreigners in Japan in 2015” released by Trip Adviser. Lots of tourists from inside and outside Japan visit the shrine every day.

 

In November 2015, Italian restaurant “MIYAJIMA Bocca Al-ché-cciano” was opened near  a ferryboat dock with a route to and from Itsukushima. “MIYAJIMA Bocca Al-ché-cciano” was opened as the first restaurant in Chugoku region directly managed by Chef Masayuki Okuda who runs his restaurants by practicing the idea of local production for local consumption.

MIYAJIMA Bocca Al-ché-cciano

“This restaurant faces Setonaikai (the Seto Inland Sea) and has a view of Itsukushima Shrine in the distance. I could open my restaurant in this wonderful place which might only happen once in a lifetime.” said Chef Okuda.

Chef Masayuki Okuda’s Profile
Born in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata-Prefecture.
In 2000, Chef Okuda opened “Al-ché-cciano” in his hometown, where his dishes use seasonal food and wines produced locally. In 2006, he was selected as one of the best world’s 1,000 chefs in “Terra Madre 2006” hosted by Italian Slow Food International (11 Japanese was selected). In 2009, he opened “YAMAGATA San-Dan-Delo” at Ginza, Tokyo. In 2012, he was named as a “Peace Ambassador for Food” by the Republic of San Marino. He also served as a cuisine supervisor for “Japan Night 2012” at the Davos Meeting held in Switzerland in the same year.

 

Olive-fed Beef from Kagawa Chosen
as One of the Best Local Products in Setouchi Area

 

Restaurant “MIYAJIMA Bocca Al-ché-cciano” prides itself in serving dishes featuring ingredients gained locally from the Chogoku and Shikoku regions.  

”Take for example the olive-fed beef. I had heard about it but had never tasted it myself. However, as I was searching for Setonaikai-specific ingredients, I happened to find this olive-fed beef and it changed everything.” Okuda said.

 

Olive-fed beef is a premium brand of beef that has been produced in Shodoshima, Kagawa since 2010. Shodoshima is renowned for its olive production. The oil is pressed in the fall and made into olive oil. The cattle raised in the region are branded as “Olive-fed Beef” since they are fed dried olive fruit.  Chef Okuda had the opportunity to taste olive beef for the first time in winter of 2016 at the one of his restaurant, YAMAGATA Sandandero in Ginza Tokyo, where he tried various parts of the red meat such as round, rump, chuck, and sirloin.

 

 

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”There are many places in Japan that serve nice marbled beef. Yet, I had not encountered marbled beef that was just perfect. What’s nice about olive beef is that it’s light fat in and doesn’t have a strong aftertaste. I’ve decided to use healthier parts of red meat, namely round and rump, in my Miyajima restaurant. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

After tasting the beef, he ordered Olive-fed beef for his restaurant. He also has a great knowledge of olive oil. He tried to get olive oil as well from Shodoshima. Then, he tried to make some dishes to see if the combination of Olive-fed beef and local olive oil was good. Some of the dishes are as follows.

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Round meat shabushabu salad topped with crispy grissini in a healthy cutlet style

Thinly-sliced round of Olive-fed beef is blanched in shabushabu style, then put on a vegetable salad. The grissini, deep-fried with olive oil, is topped on the salad. The healthy and refreshing taste can be enjoyed by cooking the Olive-beef in shabushabu style featuring meat which is not oily. “You can enjoy the flavor of the cutlet by tasting beef with grissini at the same time,” said Okuda.

 

Antipast of broiled round meat in trofie style

Trofie is a kind of short pasta and means “rub” in Italian. Chef Okuda made trofie from Olive-fed beef. At first, he slices the round meat. Then he rolls and twists the meat by hand. The round meat trofie are dressed with parmesan cheese. Then he serves them on a plate spread with Genovese sauce. Finally, he broils it with a blowtorch and sprinkles with some olive oil.

The tender texture of the red meat of Olive-fed beef impressed me. The fact that it’s not oily and the flavor of parmesan cheese went well together. The marriage made him smile. “I think the texture is unique and tasty,” said Okuda.

 

Other dishes (from the left):

  • Aitchbone roast garnished with carrot puree with a hint of tannin from black tea
  • Rump rare roast with dried shiitake mushrooms and onion paste simmered in red wine
  • Rump steak with bamboo shoot dressed with smoked pepper and a bud of Japanese pepper paste

Tasting various dishes of Olive-fed beef, Okuda was surprised at the taste of the red meat and the smooth, less oily meat. One month later, we visited Shodoshima in Kagawa to see where and by whom the Olive-fed cattle is raised.

 

 

Go to the next story…

 

Next Story: The Olive-fed Wagyu Beef Enables Recycling-Based Agriculture

 

 

A Japanese version of the full story is also available HERE.

 

 

MIYAJIMA Bocca Al-ché-cciano
Address/ 1-8-14 Miyajimaguchi, Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima
TEL/ +81-829-56-5350
Business Hours/ 11:00-15:00 (LO 14:00), 18:00-22:00 (LO 20:30)
Price/ Lunch 2,500 yen- (Reservations available for a 3,500 yen course menu or more), Dinner 5,500 yen- (A la carte available)
Closed/ Tuesdays (In the case of public holidays, closed the following day)

For Reservation, please call the restaurant directly. English-speaking staff available.