The specialized cuisine served at Kyoto's famed Kikunoi restaurant is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate, and Kaiseki, by owner / chef Yoshihiro Murata, is at once a cookbook and a work of art. This sumptuously illustrated volume features in seasonal format the style of cooking that began as tea ceremony accompaniment and developed into the highest form of Japanese cookery. Kaiseki celebrates the natural ingredients of each season with a spectacular presentation. After a front section explaining the history and components of kaiseki cuisine, Murata introduces his establishment's impressive menu. With candor and insight, he shares his thoughts on ingredients, preparation methods and the philosophy behind his dishes. He explains how the cuisine has changed over the years and continues to do so. His professional and personal accounts are enlightening; ranging, for example, from how some dishes evolve in the search for the proper combination of ingredients to a description of a learning encounter with a zen master. Approximately twenty dishes from each season, chosen by chef Murata, have been lovingly and carefully photographed to convey the experience of being an honoured guest at his restaurant. Also included are the exact recipes direct from the Kikunoi kitchen, and a glossary of kaiseki terms.