When deputy head of mission at the Japanese Embassy Shuichiro Kawaguchi talks about food, he always smiles because of his passion, which was cultivated by his mother from an early age. Kawaguchi says he is motivated to cook for others because it always puts smiles on their faces. He was raised in a family where food played an important role. His father loved tasty food. After he married, his passion for cooking grew as he created fans of his own. Kawaguchi cooks with French and Japanese flair combined, and the results are quite stunning. His latest mission is a tasty butternut dish. "I was motivated by a Japanese friend during a Facebook conversation when she insisted butternut did not taste good," he says. Kawaguchi wanted to prove that she was wrong, and he knew that the specific qualities of butternut — sweet, creamy and rich — gave him more than enough to work with. Butternuts are cultivated in Japan, but they are not as good as what he has found in SA. They are also very expens...

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