Meeting Makiko Itoh of Just Bento (justbento.com)
This week, I was graciously invited to a private demo and book signing event for The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go by Makiko Itoh. The event, hosted by Seattle Bon Vivant for the bento enthusiasts of Seattle, was not only my chance to meet the idol that started my own obsession of cute, colorful packed lunches, but also to meet a whole community of people like me! Let’s just say I was grinning from ear to ear the entire night from being star struck and overwhelmed with that warm fuzzy feeling of being amongst other food lovers.
The night started off with Maki’s demo of bento essentials like Chicken Karaage, Broccoli (w/wasabi sauce), Onigiri w/ Pickled Plum), and Apple Bunnies. [Recipes can be found on justbento.com]
It was followed by an informative bento-talk and Q & A session, at which point all the questions I had prepared for Maki were forgotten (I was starstruck, what can I say!) Luckily, the rest of the group had better composure and asked great questions. I loved Maki’s ending comment that although a bento should look good, MOST importantly, ‘a bento should taste good’! I 100% agree! :)
Maki can not only create delicious bento meals, she makes it look beautiful too! Everything tasted as good as it looked, and I got to try pickled plum for the first time (shown inside the Onigiri) and yumm, what a treat!
We each received a copy of her very successful book, The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go and a gift of Onigiri Box from Bento&Co. When my turn came up to get my book signed and meet Maki face to face, I did what any neurotic fan would do, blab on about how she inspired me, what I love about her work, etc etc…. Thanks to Maki for being so patient and kind to me and being such a delightful guest of honor!
A big thanks also to my friend Luuvu for the thoughtful invite and all the friendly introductions, and Myra for generously hosting the event.