Sumi Saikawa

"The essence of Shojin ryori (temple cooking) to your table."

Sumi Saikawa

Registered Dietitian in Japan, Cooking instructor


I was born in a Zen temple in Kobe, which was a little bit of an unusual environment in my childhood. I was in the kitchen to help making shojin ryori ever I remember. It was very busy at that time because my parents offered the shojin ryori as a routine activity such as “Shakyo kai”, “Zazen kai” as well as special activities such as “Osegaki” or”Houji” etc. I remember there were always many people to help to make the meals. When I was small, I only had jobs such as preparation of dishes (one guest need 15 plates and bowls), washing dishes, preparation of vegetables. I always had a dream “one day I want to plate the foods like other adult people do.” , because it was a most fantastic joy for me at that time. I graduated from university and worked as a dietitian in Japan. But due to my husband’s job, I had to come to Australia. It was a hard time as my English was not good and it was hard to communicate with people. But since I had children, this distance between me and Australia was getting closer. When I had a little bit of confidence in my English, I decided to teach Japanese meal preparation in English to Australian in a community college. I was very nervous and I tried to remember every single word for the class. It was my start to come back to my career in Australia.
Now I run lots of cooking classes for Japanese people, regular kids cooking and sewing classes, Shojin ryori for Australians, Easy Japanese foods for elderly people.

Meal style: I try to give to initiative to prepare the foods even in a busy life. I appreciate the foods and I try to make foods which will make me be happy in my feelings as well as in my tummy.
Sumi’s Kitchen: