Japan-Mexico: Mixing & Exploring Food Cultures

On March 24, the Consulate General of Japan and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) held a special cross-cultural event that showcased the blended flavors of Japanese and Mexican cuisines and beverages. The event also included a panel discussion moderated by LA Times journalist Teresa Watanabe, which explored the shared history of the communities in Boyle Heights. 

The panelists included Dr. George Sanchez, Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity and History from the University of Southern California, Mr. Bill Fujioka, Chair of the Board Trustees of the Japanese American Museum (JANM) and Former Chief Executive Officer of the County of Los Angeles, and Ms. Darlene Kuba, President of Kuba + Associates.
The evening began with remarks by Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles Kenko Sone, Acting Consul General of Mexico in Los Angeles Gustavo Martinez, and President & CEO of the JACCC, Ms. Patricia Wyatt. Ms. Kristin Hayashi, Curator at JANM, also introduced a video from the Museum’s 2002 exhibition “Boyle Heights: The Power of Place.”  
During the panel discussion, Dr. Sanchez provided historical background on Boyle Heights history to set the stage for the personal stories that followed. Panelists shared their memories growing up in the Boyle Heights neighborhood and how friendships developed among individuals and families of various ethnic backgrounds through shared cultural experiences, including food. Echoing the themes from Dr. Sanchez’s 2021 “Boyle Heights: How a Los Angeles Neighborhood Became the Future of American Democracy,” the conversation provided inspiration for the great potential and tremendous power of diverse communities coming together.  

The food and beverage featured at the event included the following.

  • Chef Chris Ono, JACCC chef in residence: Gyoza with Salsa Verde, Karaage with pico de gallo & yuzu kosho, Tuna Aguachile with jalapeno soy sauce, Teriyaki Beef skewer with salsa roja
  • Chef Nobu and Chef Yurie of Yurie Tomato: Carnitas Japanese style tacos and Temaki sushi with yuzu kosho salsa & crema
  • Yawamochi by Imuraya
  • Japanese Beer: SAPPORO
  • Mexican Beer: Modelo and Corona
  • Japanese Sake and Liquor: Chika Sake, Sayuri Nigori Sake, Awa Yuki Sparkling Sake, Juicy Yuzu, Ume Plum by Hakutsuru
  • Agua de Jamaica and Horchata by Sabores Oaxaqueños
  • Ramune by Hatakosen

Acting Consul General of Mexico in Los Angeles
Gustavo Martinez and 
Kenko Sone

Consul General Sone

President & CEO of the JACCC Patricia Wyatt
Gift Exchange LA Times Journalist Teresa Watanabe
Panel Discussion Guests and Venue
Food Food