Tim Anderson is nothing short of a culinary virtuoso. After dazzling the judges and becoming MasterChef’s youngest winner in 2011, he has gone on to open his very own restaurant, Nanban, in London.
It was an innate grasp of Japanese cuisine that made the then 26-year-old stand out, and now he wants to pass his mastery on by inviting you to join him on a tour of his adopted culinary fatherland.
You’ll start the eight-night trip in Tokyo, taking in the sights and sounds of the Tsukiji fish market – the largest of its kind in the world. It won’t be long before you’re picking up priceless tips as Anderson gives you a hands-on lesson in the art of sushi. With Japanese tradition firmly at the heart of the itinerary, it’s little surprise that guests will be taken to the town of Hakone for a Kaiseki, a multi-course dinner created using only fresh seasonal ingredients.
Osaka is known as a hub for good eating and so Anderson has put a tour of the best street food haunts on the checklist, along with a visit to the famous Nishiki market in Kyoto. If you’re hoping for sightseeing that doesn’t only involve grub, trips to Mount Fuji, Kyoto’s Golden Pavilion and historical Nara should satisfy your cultural hunger.
And to make sure you really look the part, a MasterChef Travel apron is even thrown into the bargain. Anderson might even tie it for you, if you ask nicely.
Dhs16,500 per person. October 9-19. www.coxandkings.co.uk.
The perfect stop-offs
Soon to be a lost gem of central Tokyo due its planned relocation to Toyosu, this could be the last chance you’ll get to see this giant fish market in all its glory. More than 400 types of seafood are available, with tuna a huge seller.
A street food haven
Japan’s second-largest city is renowned for its love of all things culinary and takes pride in the street food its serves up. Try the takoyaki, or battered balls filled with grilled octopus slices, pickled ginger and grilled onion.
Picture postcard setting
One of the nation’s most iconic sights, the Golden Pavilion has been a symbol of Kyoto since it was built in the 14th century. The top two of this Unesco World Heritage Site’s three storeys are covered in gold leaf, while the building also contains a fantastic collection of Buddha’s relics.