Shiho Yoshikawa is the founder and pastry chef of the celebrated Sweet Rose Creamery, known for its daily hand-crafted batches of ice cream. Yoshikawa grew up in Japan where she cultivated her love of cooking and gardening alongside her parents. After moving to the United States at the age of 15, Yoshikawa earned her education at California College of the Arts and gained experience working at Tartine Bakery and The Slanted Door. Her love of working with fresh produce is evident in the seasonal ice cream flavors she develops in Sweet Rose Creamery’s kitchen in Santa Monica, California.
What hooked you on cooking?
My mother. I grew up helping her in the kitchen and garden- she showed me how things grow, when to harvest, how to cook with them throughout the season. She also was not shy to experiment with ingredients and trying out recipes from other countries. I have many memories of hanging out in the kitchen and tasting failure and success.
The coolest example of science in your food?
Different methods of capturing, combining and preserving flavors: infusions, candying, caramelizing,
The food you find most fascinating?
All types of sugar, carbohydrates: there are various types , conditions, flavors, and sweetness.
What scientific concept—food related or otherwise—do you find most fascinating?
Your best example of a food that is better because of science?
Ice cream- science taught me how the ingredients work together intricately. For example, how temperature affects texture immensely. Such complexity to bring simple pleasure!
How do you think science will impact your world of food in the next 5 years?
Science will always guide me to be a better cook. There’s so much science in food right now, which I think affect it for the good and bad. I appreciate what science has done for the food world but am wary of certain developments. I am very much interested with what’s going on with extreme modification versus ancient or heirloom techniques in farming and agriculture, how these two extreme stances will affect one another.
One kitchen tool you could not live without?
Five things most likely to be found in your fridge?
Miso, soy sauce, egg, yogurt, butter
Your all-time favorite ingredient? Favorite cookbook?
Salt. Joy of Cooking – the first book I bought when I came to the states as a teenager.
Your standard breakfast?
Seasonal fruits and yogurt