Wagyu 101: Dive Into the World of Wagyu with Live Presentation and Tasting!

 In Culture Exchange

On March 11th, the Japan Society of Northern California hosted Wagyu 101, an in-person event all about Japanese Wagyu beef and what makes it special. We were thrilled to welcome Mr. Keiichi Higuchi, the Deputy Consul General of Japan in San Francisco; Mark Melnick, President Emeritus of Trex Corp Inc; and Larry Greenwood, Board Chair of the Japan Society of Northern California.

The first session of the event was kicked off with a welcome speech by Mr. Keiichi Higuchi from the Consulate General Office. His speech was followed with an informational and entertaining presentation by Mark Melnick, who is a longtime importer of Japanese Wagyu beef. Melnick explained how Wagyu cows are different from other cattle in their genetics, husbandry (upbringing), and traceability. He also explained what sets Wagyu apart from other types of beef in terms of flavor and marbling. After his presentation, Melnick demonstrated to the audience how to cut a large piece of Wagyu. During this demonstration he also took questions directly from the audience in a Q&A session. Two representatives from Beam Suntory and Suntory, Glen Montevago and Takeru Nakai, respectively, also spoke about their products available at the event.

Attendees were then free to network and enjoy samples of Wagyu beef provided by Trex Corp Inc, and beverages provided by Beam Suntory, Suntory, and Ito En. Many attendees posted pictures of their food and friends on social media. Towards the end of the program, emcee Wesley Yee raffled off two prizes provided by Trex Corp Inc — Wagyu beef jerky and a “Crazy Rich Wagyu” sweatshirt — to two lucky guests. The first session was closed out with remarks by Larry Greenwood, our Board Chair.

We were thrilled to host this in-person event after two years of mostly Zoom events, and it seems like many of our guests agreed — we had almost 100 attendees between the two sessions! We’d like to extend a special thanks to: the Consulate General of San Francisco for supporting this event; Trex Corp Inc for their presentation and preparation of Wagyu beef; Suntory and Beam Suntory for providing beverages; Ito En for providing tea; and the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) for providing the venue for our event. We’d also like to extend our gratitude to our guests for making this event possible and sharing it on social media! We hope to see you are more Japan Society of Northern California events in the future!

All photos courtesy of Mark Shigenaga.

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