Yukako Saito

SpecialityCEO & Founder, Genuine Education Network (GEN) Italy, Jinowa Consortium

Advisor and consultant to local governments, non governmental agencies, companies and food producers on regional development and international communication strategies through food culture and regenerative tourism. Born in Tokyo, to a family of Japanese restaurant owners. After a ten year career in internet marketing and IT business development at Recruit Holdings Co. Ltd, she started her career in wine distribution on a direct to consumer basis. She moved from Japan to northern Italy in 2013. This was a life changing transition to pursue her desire to improve how we live through cultural education about traditional ecological foods and craftsmanship, regenerative agriculture and sustainable development. A specialist in education policy for sustainability and regenerative development. Her innovation strategies are driven by a desire to shift the global food system crisis by a deeper understanding of traditional ecological knowledge. Yukako believes that the use of neglected and under-utilised ingredients is the next step in transforming the way we use our food resources. European seaweeds could be prepared using the traditional ecological methods of Japan. Invasive plant species such as knotweed can be used as a food resource using traditional preparation techniques. The use of the ignored and wasted parts from fish and meat to prepare high quality dishes as exemplified in festive meals from different cultures. By transforming our knowledge and understanding of how ingredients work across different cultures, we can help secure food sovereignty by educating our global community. Under GEN’s guidance, in 2023, in partnership with the Ishizaka Group of Japan, a new restaurant will be opened near Tokyo as an international education centre for chefs from around the world.

All session
by Yukako Saito